- O Panneerselvam wants probe on Jayalalithaa's death by sitting judge
- He also wants VK Sasikala to be publicly sacked as the AIADMK's chief
- Team OPS no more insisting on CM's post for OPS, fine with party chief
It did not happen. After over five hours of meeting at the home of Mr Panneerselvam, called OPS, his camp sent word that Chief Minister Palaniswami's announcement of an inquiry commission to investigate the death of the party's powerful chief Ms Jayalalithaa was not enough. They want a sitting judge to conduct the probe. Team OPS also reiterated that there can be no merger move till VK Sasikala, who is in prison in a corruption case, is publicly sacked as the party's chief.
Mr Palaniswami and Mr Panneerselvam's separate meetings with Prime Minister Narendra Modi in Delhi recently were seen to give the possibility of a merger a boost after several false starts. The BJP is believed to be invested in a reunited AIADMK, which has in the past supported it on key policies and legislation and is seen as friendly to the Centre.
A merger will resolve a fight between the two camps over rights to the party's name and symbol especially before crucial local body elections due in a few months in Tamil Nadu.
The issue of a merger acquired urgency after Mr Dhinakaran, who claims to have the support of 40 AIADMK legislators, staged a show of strength in Madurai recently. 20 legislators attended, but even they could potentially bring down the Palaniswami government, which has just six lawmakers over the simple majority in the assembly. Mr Panneerselvam has the support of 10 MLAs.
Former Chief Minister Ms Jayalalithaa led the AIADMK till she died in December after months in hospital.