The much-talked about merger of the AIADMK factions is a long drawn process, with hard bar gaining from OPS faction expected for the post of chief minister and party general secretary, besides key portfolios. The OPS camp insists that the former CM-turned-rebel should lead the government and the party, given the mass appeal the former has among workers and the public ever since he revolted against the Sasikala clan, triggering political turmoil.
The Edappadi camp, which holds sway in the Kongu region with 47 MLAs, is unlikely to give in easily. Lok Sabha deputy speaker M Thambidurai on Wednesday raised the temperature, asserting that Palaniswami would continue as chief minister. "He won a trust vote with 122 MLAs en dorsing his leadership. Thus he will continue and there is no change in that stand. We will hold talks (for merger) and iron out issues," Thambidurai said, setting the agenda for negotiations against the backdrop of his faction finalising names for the rapprochement panel. Neither Edappadi nor OPS has established contact yet.
wise for the state that got three CMs in the last six months. "Accommodation of leaders, especially former minister K Pandiarajan in the cabinet, is quite imminent upon merger," a party source said.