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Last Updated Wednesday September 20 2017 07:33 AM IST

Thaw in AIADMK merger move, both camps set up panels

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Thaw in AIADMK merger move, both camps set up panels

Chennai: In signs of thaw on AIADMK merger move, the factions led by Tamil Nadu chief minister K. Palaniswami and the one by O. Panneerselvam Friday announced formation of their respective committees to hold discussions.

Rajya Sabha MP R. Vaithilingam will head the panel set up by the Palaniswami group while the Panneerselvam camp named senior leader and former minister K.P. Munusamy as the head of a seven-member committee.

The developments came a day after the talks appeared to have hit a roadblock with the Panneerselvam camp seeking formal expulsion of V.K. Sasikala and T.T.V. Dhinakaran from the party.

It had also sought a CBI probe into the circumstances leading to former chief minister Jayalalithaa's death on December 5 last year.

Hardening its stance for talks, the OPS camp had also demanded that 30 members of the Sasikala family be formally expelled from the party.

Meanwhile, former school education minister K. Pandiarajan of OPS faction confirmed that the Palaniswami group had contacted them for talks.

Earlier, the ministers and senior leaders met at the party headquarters here under Palaniswami.

Following the Cabinet's revolt against him early this week, Dhinakaran had said he was "stepping aside" in the interest of the party.

The Panneerselvam camp had also demanded withdrawal of affidavits submitted to the Election Commission by the Palaniswami faction, declaring Sasikala and Dhinakaran as party general secretary and deputy general secretary, respectively.

Vaithilingam had retorted that there was "no drama" over the decision to ask Sasikala and Dhinakaran to keep away from the party and the government.

Meanwhile, Dhinakaran remained incommunicado for the second consecutive day after being served summons by a two-member Delhi police team here on April 19 for allegedly trying to bribe an Election Commission official to secure the party's coveted 'two leaves' symbol.

Dhinakaran has maintained that he had already announced he would stay away from party affairs and that he could be removed only by Sasikala.

Sasikala is at present serving a four year jail term in Bengaluru in a disproportionate assets case.

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