The summer of instability in Tamil Nadu: Can AIADMK factions join hands?

The demands put out by O Panneerselvam for a merger with rival AIADMK faction may not be agreeable to all.

The Chennai heat and the current political scenario have one thing in common. People of Chennai want both the situations to end soon.

Monsoon and stability in Tamil Nadu government are two developments people in the state are waiting for.

On Monday night, talks of merger between the two rival factions of All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (AIADMK) started doing rounds after a late-night meeting of AIADMK ministers.

The meeting took place after former Tamil Nadu chief minister O Panneerselvam offered to discuss the reuniting the fractured party.

Earlier, the Delhi Police booked AIADMK deputy general secretary TTV Dinakaran for allegedly trying to bribe Election Commission to get the party's two-leaves symbol.

OPS SEEKS CONTROL OVER PARTY

With Sasikala in jail and her nephew Dinakaran booked in a case, the Mannargudi family may find it difficult to hold on to the party's reins for a long time.

For AIADMK, a merger still remains iffy, and may not ensure a stable government in Tamil Nadu with the Panneerselvam camp seeking control of the party.

K C Palaniswamy, who is part of the O Panneerselvam faction, started the day by saying that "we are ready for a merger and willing to work together".

This was followed by the press conference by O Panneerselvam who made three demands for the merger.

1) Expel Sasikala and her kin. They will have nothing to do with the party and it's activities

2) A judicial probe into former Tamil Nadu chief minister Jayalalithaa's death

3) By saying that the party has follow the path laid out by Jayalalithaa, Panneerselvam hinted at getting back the chief minister's post

FISSURES APPEAR

As the press conference ended, differences within the E Palaniswami-TTV Dinakaran camp started appearing.

AIADMK leader P Vetrivel questioned last night's meeting between AIADMK ministers. Vetrivel reportedly said that O Panneerselvam cannot make demands of expelling Chinnamma Sasikala and TTV Dinakaran from the party.

Once again, K C Palaniswamy spoke to media but this time his appearance was grim. "These were always our demands. O Panneerselvam will become party chief and chief minister of Tamil Nadu. We are sure of it," he said.

The Panneerselvam camp is likely to meet tonight to decide on their future course. There is no word from E Palaniswami on whether he is ready to step down as the chief minister and make way for O Panneerselvam.

Tamil Nadu and its people, however, continue to reel under the heat.

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