Ticklish issues halt AIADMK merger
Chennai: Amid talk of an imminent merger, marathon deliberations that began on Friday in the two factions of the AIADMK seem to have made no headway with ticklish issues posing hurdles.
While rebel leader O Panneerselvam held consultations with his loyalists, Chief Minister E Palaniswami held marathon talks with his cabinet colleagues.
On the expectation of a merger announcement at the Jayalalithaa mausoleum at Marina Beach late in the evening, security was beefed up there, with several MLAs converging.
However, it soon became apparent that there were hurdles to the merger talks, with leaders of both factions starting to leave the venue.
Party sources indicated that there were "some ticklish issues" that were to be addressed by both groups but declined to elaborate further.
While the Pannerselvam camp held over four hours of consultations, Palaniswami was closeted with the top office- bearers, besides his ministerial colleagues for a long period of time.
With the talks getting prolonged due to "issues", the expectations for an announcement in this regard on Friday night dissipated.
Jayalalithaa's burial complex had been decked up and the party office was brightly lit in the wake of expectations of the unification of the AIADMK factions.
Office bearers were seen holding garlands, apparently in anticipation of the arrival of leaders of both camps.
The expected late night press meet by Panneerselvam was later deferred.
The merger talks came days after sidelined AIADMK (Amma) leader T T V Dhinakaran held a well-attended rally at Madurai in which about 20 MLAs and six MPs participated.
On Thursday the Tamil Nadu government announced a probe into the death of J Jayalalithaa.