EPS and OPS camps prom­ise AIADMK merger soon

De­ci­sion ex­pected within ‘a day or two’ as most de­mands are be­ing worked out am­i­ca­bly

Sunday Express - - FRONT PAGE - @ Chen­nai/Tiru­varur

BRING­ING cheer to AIADMK cadre, Chief Min­is­ter ‘Edap­padi’ K Palaniswami and his pre­de­ces­sor O Pan­neer­sel­vam on Satur­day said dif­fer­ences among the two fac­tions were be­ing sorted out through talks, and promised that the two would merge within a few days. How­ever, even as he ea­gerly waits for the rebel camp to set­tle their dif­fer­ences over merger ne­go­ti­a­tions, Palaniswami re­ceived a di­rect warn­ing from those in ousted deputy gen­eral sec­re­tary TTV Dhi­nakaran’s camp, who said they would not hes­i­tate to un­seat the Chief Min­is­ter if he adopted a res­o­lu­tion to oust gen­eral sec­re­tary VK Sasikala from the party as he had done to Dhi­nakaran re­cently.

In Tiru­varur for the birth cente- nary cel­e­bra­tions of the late Chief Min­is­ter and party founder MG Ra­machan­dran, Palaniswami on Satur­day said talks were go­ing on to iron out the dif­fer­ences. “Very soon, the fac­tions will merge.” When asked about the spec­u­la­tions that the Pan­neer­sel­vam fac­tion had sought the post of Deputy Chief Min­is­ter, Palaniswami said, “All these de­tails would be known dur­ing the merger.”

Mean­while in Chen­nai, Pan­neer­sel­vam ad­mit­ted, for the first time, that talks were in­deed go­ing on for the merger of the fac­tions. “Talks are go­ing on smoothly. Within a day or two, a good de­ci­sion will be ar­rived at.”

He said there were no dif­fer­ences of opin­ion within the rebel ranks, and added that all de­ci­sions would be taken in the in­ter­est of party cadre.

CHIEF Min­is­ter Edap­padi K Palaniswami on Satur­day cleared the air on the State gov­ern­ment’s stance in the Cau­very row be­fore Supreme Court and said Tamil Nadu is op­posed to Kar­nataka’s plans to con­struct check dam on Meka­datu.

Speak­ing at the MGR birth cen­ten­nary cel­e­bra­tion here on Satur­day, Palaniswami charged Op­po­si­tion par­ties with spread­ing mis­in­for­ma­tion on the is­sue. “Coun­sel rep­re­sent­ing Tamil Nadu did not say that the State does not have ob­jec­tion to the project; he only said Kar­nataka was in a po­si­tion to re­lease wa­ter to Tamil Nadu from its ex­ist­ing dams,” the Chief Min­is­ter said.

“He was only re­spond­ing to the query of judges when Kar­nataka said Tamil Nadu has been op­pos­ing check dams. He just men­tioned that Tamil Nadu did not have the to­pog­ra­phy ideal to build a dam and pointed out that the Cau­very Tri­bunal had di­rected Kar­nataka to re­lease wa­ter with the ex­ist­ing dams,” Palaniswami ex­plained.

The Chief Min­is­ter fur­ther said, “When the judges asked TN coun­sel whether we would al­low Kar­nataka to build check dam at a dif­fer­ent place tak­ing into con­sid­er­a­tion in­ter­ests of Tamil Nadu, he an­swered this could be dis­cussed later. So, nowhere did we say we sup­port con­struc­tion of check dam by Kar­nataka.”

On the oc­ca­sion, Palaniswami dis­bursed wel­fare mea­sures worth Rs.319 crore to ben­e­fi­cia­ries and an­nounced sev­eral projects in­clud­ing set­ting up of TANGEDCO sub-sta­tions at Savalakkaran­theru near Man­nar­gudi and two bridges across the Ba­mani and Chozha Soodamani rivers. Ear­lier in the day, Lok Sabha deputy Speaker M Tham­bidu­rai in­au­gu­rated a photo ex­hi­bi­tion on MGR and the achieve­ments of the AIADMK gov­ern­ment. R Ka­ma­raj, Food Min­is­ter was among those present on the oc­ca­sion.

Holy man and cat anec­dote

As has be­come his forte, Chief Min­is­ter Edap­padi nar­rated a story to ad­dress ques­tions on the merger of fac­tions. “A holy man had a cat as pet. When the cat saw a dog, it mar­velled at its size and pleaded with his mas­ter to make it as big as the dog. Once the mas­ter ac­ceded and made it as big as the dog, it asked him to change it into a tiger as it saw one. Soon, af­ter see­ing a lion, the mas­ter changed it into a lion. De­spite the trans­for­ma­tion, the cat was not happy and once again asked his mas­ter to trans­form it into a gi­gan­tic crea­ture with eight limbs. When the mas­ter obliged, the big an­i­mal tried to kill him in or­der to stop other an­i­mals from get­ting sim­i­lar boon. The mas­ter, who knew its in­ten­tions, told the cat that though it looked gi­gan­tic, it would have qual­i­ties of a cat and so would not be able to de­stroy him.”

Com­plet­ing this, Palaniswami said, “Like the cat in the story, there are many peo­ple try­ing to de­stroy the AIADMK. I don’t want to men­tion their names. The party will re­main for ever and no one can top­ple the gov­ern­ment.”

Hear­ing this, AIADMK cadre broke into a thun­der­ous ap­paluse and de­scribed that the Chief Min­is­ter had sent a strong mes­sage to TTV Di­nakaran and his sup­port­ers who were pass­ing un­savoury com­ments on the merger of fac­tions. It may be re­called tha Tiru­varur is the home turf of party gen­eral se­cratary V K Sasikala.

Mean­while, ad­dress­ing re­porters in Si­va­ganga, CPI State sec­re­tary R Mutha­rasan said that af­ter the death of J Jay­alalithaa, the pub­lic has lost faith in the party. “The OPS fac­tion de­manded a probe into Jay­alalithaa’s death and also ex­pressed their sug­ges­tion of mak­ing her Poes Gar­den res­i­dence into a me­mo­rial. But, Pan­neer­sel­vam did not ini­ti­ate any probe while he was in power.” He fur­ther added that the gov­ern­ment should take over all the prop­er­ties of Jay­alalithaa. On the emo­tive Mege­datu dam row, he said that the gov­ern­ment’s stand in the Supreme Court be­trayed the in­ter­ests of the peo­ple of the State.

EX­PRESS

Chief Min­is­ter Edap­padi K Palaniswami interacting with women dur­ing his visit to Tiru­varur on Satur­day |

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