Reunification of AIADMK factions soon?

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Chennai — The stage is set for a reunification of the O Panneerselvam faction with the ruling group of the All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (AIADMK) led by Edappadi K Palaniswami. The patch-up may get formalised when the 2 leaders meet in Delhi tomorrow. Both the leaders are attending the swearing-in ceremony of M Venkaiah Naidu as the Vice-President of India.

Meanwhile, Chief Minister Palanisami has called for a meeting of his ministers and senior party functionaries at the party headquarters here today and this merger issue is expected to top the agenda.

The main sticking point has been the proposition of accommodating O Panneerselvam after the merger. Edapadi is reportedly not in a mood to step down from the post of the chief minister. Sources say that OPS may be made the deputy chief minister and 2 of his faction members — Mafoi Pandiarajan and S Semmalai — may be accommodated in the Cabinet at the cost of 2 existing ministers.

Some indications of these developments were there when the current chief minister parried questions by the media yesterday during an MGR centenary function held at Villupuram about 100 km from Chennai. On being directly asked about the role of VK Sasikala and TTV Dinakaran, he evaded the question by saying he did not want to comment on an issue that was under the consideration of the Election Commission.

Palaniswami, however, clearly said he was currently leading the government and the party and things were quite smooth. Who will be the party general secretary is not know yet.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi is reportedly taking a keen interest in seeing the 2 factions merge and work together.

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