Hurdles in Merging O Panneerselvam and Edapadi Palanisami factions!
By Special Correspondent
The two factions of AIADMK are working out the modalities for merger and as expected there are a lot of behind the scene activities happening in both factions to gain power both in the party and the government.At the same time, political watchers are of the opinion that a lot of confusion will prevail post-merger. If Panneerselvam comes to power, it is expected that many will lose their current positions.
Both the factions are in the process of forming committees and they will decide the who will get what post in the party and the government.OPS faction earlier laid a condition that Sasikala family should be sacked from all their responsibilities, but people who are involved say that is not the only condition and any new conditions may dampen the process of merger.
Though the EPS faction claims that they are ready to unite and function for the betterment of the party and the state, some of the Ministers are in a disturbed state if OPS faction gets more importance in the unified party structure. The Panneer camp in the last two months has projected Panneerselvam as a mass leader and he also earned the likes of a section of the people for his actions in respect of Jallikattu and other issues during his short stint as CM in Jan.
This has led to to the OPS camp claiming more importance for Panneerselvam. It is learnt that Edapaddi Palanisamy has no issues in working under OPS according to persons close to him. But some of the senior ministers are having a different thought and have asked Palanisamy to continue as CM whereas OPS can be given the party GEN SEC post . But some other ministers and party seniors feel that it will create a lot of instability if party and government are under different persons and hence OPS should be made both as CM and Gen Secretary of the party.
OPS camp is also pitching for minister post to Mafoi Pandiarajan and one more person. Moreover, the OPS camp also feels that all those who were close to Dinakaran should not be given any post and wants a say in all those who have to be dropped. Some ministers who were close to Dinakaran and opposed Panneer earlier are likely to be dropped. The prominent names are Udumalai Radhakrishnan, Kadambur Raju, R B Udayakumar, C Vijayabaskar and Sellur Raju. It is to be noted that IT raids in Vijayabaskar's residences and the subsequent developments only led to the sacking of Sasikala group.
So Panneer camp is confident that the other group would accept to drop some of the ministers. Sensing these developments both RB Udayakumar and Sellur Raju have been issuing statements praising Panneerselvam for his steadfast loyaly to the party head. OPS camp is aware of all these things but at the time of formation of Ministry, they will put their foot down to drop some ministers. The pressure from the Centre to go smooth with OPS camp and fear of raids made the Ministers to boot out Sasikala group and work towards a merger. But it is to be seen how many ministers will retain their post?
Jayakumar, the Finance Minister while speaking to the press made satirical comments about OPS which has put some spokes in the smooth sailing of the unity process. Jayakumar said that OPS cannot claim that it was only because of him Dinakaran was ousted and further commented that he may even claim that he is responsible for Trump Victory. This will definitely create ripples in the political scene and some have started saying that this may be the start of EPS camp to distance itself from the merger.
Thambidurai's meeting with Governor and then the Chief Minister are also being watched closely. The struggle to retain the power for EPS and reclaim the same for OPS is going to be a Herculean task and the winner will be decided in Delhi!