EPS and OPS camps promise AIADMK merger soon
Decision expected within ‘a day or two’ as most demands are being worked out amicably
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.
Chief Minister Edappadi K Palaniswami interacting with women during his visit to Tiruvarur on Saturday |