Former Tamil Nadu chief minister O Panneerselvam embarked on a state-wide tour on Friday in an effort to reconnect with voters ahead of the much anticipated local body elections. OPS, who has been chief minister thrice in the past, is likely to crisscross the state over the next month by road, reported NDTV. His tour comes at a time when merger talks between the two warring factions of the AIADMK have stalled.
“The former chief minister is meeting leaders, workers and people everyday. In this situation, he has decided to carry out rally across the state. He will be meeting people and party workers. He will be celebrating MGR’s 100th birthday on a grand scale, after knowing what people and party workers want. The event that will be held on 8th and 9th of the next month will be a victorious gala,” K P Munusamy, a minister from the OPS camp, told The News Minute.
The OPS faction has put forth two preconditions for merger talks. The first is the ousting of party general secretary Sasikala Natarajan and her nephew and party deputy general secretary TTV Dinakaran. Sasikala is currently serving a prison sentence in a disproportionate assets case. Dinakaran, who is in police custody, is being investigated for allegedly bribing Election Commission officials to retain the AIADMK’s party symbol ahead of the RK Nagar by-polls. The second precondition is for the ruling faction, led by Chief Minister Edappadi K Palaniswami, to demand a CBI probe into the death of former chief minister and party supremo J Jayalalithaa. Also, reports are doing rounds that OPS camp has been demanding Palaniswami to step down as chief minister and make way for their leader. However, there are no signs of the talks being revived anytime soon.
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