SHAH’S 3-DAY VISIT BEGINS ON AUG 22 DMK, AIADMK Leaders Set to Join BJP Soon
New Delhi: A number of DMK and AIADMK leaders and workers are expected to join BJP this month-end when party president Amit Shah visitsthestate.Amongformerministers likely to join the party is Nainar Nagendran, a former AIADMK industries minister from Thirunelveli who belongs to the politically powerful Thevar community.
Shah will arrive on a three-day visit to Tamil Nadu on August 22 and will attend party meetings in Chennai and Coimbatore. Top BJP leaders said an overhaul of the state party machinery was in the works as Shah wants BJP to become more visible in the state. More agitations, just as the one held by the party’s yuva morcha recently, to ask for holding local polls and better quality of teachers in government schools are being planned. Meanwhile, the AIADMK-Amma faction led by CM E Palaniswami met at the party headquarters in Chennai amid speculation of merger talks with the rebel camp of former CM O Panneerselvam.ThoughBJPhassaid it has nothing to do with AIADMK, sourcessaidaseniorSanghideologue and economist and a Union minister were looking at ways of ending the factional feud in the party.
“The token exclusion of Sasikala’s family from the party won’t work. Therewouldbenomergerunlessour main conditions are met, which include expulsion of Sasikala and her nephew Dhinakaran from the party and an investigation into former CM Jayalalithaa’s death,” a senior leader of the OPS camp said. He added OPS was not ready for a pact that would placehimonlybelowEPSinthepecking order. “There are these reports of merger going on but OPS and others know only he can get the votes, not EPS, though he doesn’t have the support of his party leaders now. OPS has not taken part in any of the formal negotiation talks till now.”
Sourcessaidnegotiatorsweretrying hard to ensure EPS and OPS factions reunite. The merger talks were fasttrackedwhenDhinakarannamedhis loyalists as party office-bearers. The EPS faction felt the appointments were to confuse the ranks.