The decision on merger between both factions (EPS and OPS camp) of AIADMK on Friday once again hit the roadblock after Tamil Nadu Chief Minister Edappadi K Palaniswami (EPS) and former chief minister O Panneerselvam (OPS) met failed to reach the consensus on cabinet berths.  

In the meeting which held at O Panneerselvam’s Greenways residence in Tamil Nadu capital Chennai, to decide on the merger was put on hold after Paneerselvam’s demanded at least 3 ministerial berths in the Tamil Nadu cabinet. The demand however was not acceptable to Chief Minister minister EPS, as per reports.

It was also informed that apart from the ministerial berth issue, there were some other serious issues between Palaniswami and Panneerselvam.

Party leaders informed the media on Friday who were waiting outside Panneerselvam’s residence as it was very likely that the merger was going to take place that there will be no media interaction today.

Members of the two factions had been confident on Thursday and early Friday that the two groups would become one after months of bickering.

Apart from the ministerial berth demands, previously Panneerselvam had laid three different conditions for a merger: which were keeping out AIADMK General Secretary and the now jailed VK Sasikala and her family, ordering a judicial probe into Jayalalithaa’s death and converting her home into a memorial.

The Palaniswami faction had only days ago declared the appointment of TTV Dinakaran, Sasikala’s nephew, as Deputy General Secretary as “improper, unacceptable and invalid”.

This was challenged by Dinakaran, who is said to have the support of around 20 legislators and who on Friday called on Sasikala in jail in Bengaluru.

If the AIADMK merges, the party will get back its popular “two leaves” symbol which has been frozen by the Election Commission.

Meanwhile, even before the merger which is yet to take place, TTV Dinakaran while hitting out at both the factions said that it won’t last long. 

However, a day after Palaniswami made the announcement of transforming J Jayalalithaa’s residence into a memorial, a hand-written will by Jayalalithaa’s mother Sandhya was released on Friday. 

The will written by Sandhya was done on a day before her death and dates back to December 12, 1973. It says Jayalalithaa inherited Poes Garden from her mother.

Highlights on EPS-OPS merger meeting: 

  • Meeting at O Panneerselvam’s residence end, merger seems to be looking rocky.  
  • O Panneerselvam is delaying consensus process.
  • According to reports, OPS is eyeing PWD, Finance and Home department but EPS is ready to give only 2 ministerial berths.

  • EPS and OPS likely to go to Amma Memorial at Marina Beach in Chennai.

  • O Panneerselvam’s camp likely to get 3 ministerial berths; K Pandiarajan also to get ministerial berth.  
  • EPS and OPS are expected to issue joint statement after the merger. 
  • Jayalalithaa memorial at Marina Beach has been decorated with flowers ahead of the merger
  • Meeting between both EPS and OPS faction underway at Greenways residence.

(With inputs from IANS