No discussion over Dinakaran or Sasikala took place: TN Minister

Chennai [Tamil Nadu], April 18 (ANI): Tamil Nadu Minister K.A. Sengottaiyan on Tuesday said that issue pertaining to TTV Dinakaran's arrest was not raised by either factions of the AIADMK at the meeting which took place at Dinakaran's residence.

Sengottaiyan, who was representing the Sasikala faction, said that there no talks took place regarding Sasikala also.

Sengottaiyan, who was at Dinakaran's residence to hold talks with the O. Paneerselvam faction in connection with merger of both factions, said, "There are no talks on the issue of TTV Dinakaran and Sasikala, nor did OPS faction raise any question on the same."

Minister for Cooperation Sellur K. Raju earlier in the day confirmed the process of merger between the two factions of the ruling party.

"We are brothers from the same family. A team is formed by us consisting of senior ministers for the process of merger of two factions. Yesterday, Panneerselvam had come forward for the merger of two factions and we welcome it. Our wish is to unite and go ahead," Raju said.

He further said it is the time for everyone to forget the past and work for the future.

"After Jayalalithaa's demise, there was some ruckus and factions happened. We are sad on that and even some hate speeches have rolled out. But, it's now time for all to forget the past and work for the future," he said.

He added that earlier also the DMK tried to separate the AIADMK but that will never happen.

"We will be united. Our priority is to get our two leaves symbol united from the Election Commission (EC)," he said.

Raju asserted that the positions and leaderships in the party and government will be decided after the merger only.

Meanwhile, Tamil Nadu Forest Minister C. Srinivasan said he is happy about the merger.

Earlier, the DMK said such unification would not last long as both groups were coming together to retain power in the state.

"The faction may not last because both are power-mongers. If at all they are uniting, even that is also for power," DMK leader TKS Elangovan told ANI.

The DMK leader's remarks came after state Finance Minister D. Jayakumar hinted at the possibility of a merger between the two groups.

"We discussed about keeping the party united. O. Panneerselvam gave an opinion which we welcome. We discussed about how we can take the party forward in a united way," Jayakumar said.

"Having welcomed his opinion, we will further hold discussions and deliberate about the merger," he added.

Jayakumar said all 123 AIADMK lawmakers and party cadres were on the same page and discussed about the possibilities of retaining the 'Two Leaves' symbol, which had been frozen by the Election Commission.

This development came after the Delhi Police booked TTK Dinakaran on charges of bribing the Election Commission officials to claim the 'Two Leaves' symbol.

The Crime Branch recovered approximately Rs. 1.3 crore from alleged middleman Sukesh Chandrashekhar.

Dinakaran, who is considered to be a close Sasikala aide, later said that he was ready to legally face any summons from the Delhi Police. When asked if Sasikala would quit from the party in case the merger took place, Jayakumar said, "We have no information regarding this." (ANI)