Tamil Nadu: Panneerselvam faction submits more documents to EC

Chennai: The two AIADMK factions edged closer to merger with the O Panneerselvam camp on Friday helping itself to the anti-Dhinakaran resolution passed by the rival Palaniswami group in order to strengthen its affidavit before the Election Commission for setting aside the appointment of V K Sasikala as the party general secretary. OPS along with senior colleagues K.P. Munusamy, 'Mafoi' K. Pandiarajan and V. Maitreyan met EC officials and submitted additional affidavits 'to strengthen' the petition filed in February for declaring as 'null-and-void' Sasikala's appointment as general secretary as it was against the AIADMK bylaws. “We gave the EC additional documents today to strengthen our case against Sasikala's appointment. We culled out some portions of yesterday's resolution (by EPS faction) against Dhinakaran and made them part of our additional affidavit submitted (to EC) now”, Munusamy told reporters in Delhi, amid speculation that the EPS camp will soon withdraw its objections to the OPS petition against Sasikala. “If we withdraw our objections, the OPS petition seeking annulment of Sasikala's appointment (as general secretary) will sail through unchallenged. This will smoothen the merger process because if Sasikala goes, her appointee TTV goes automatically”, said a senior EPS faction leader, recalling that one of the prime conditions laid by OPS for the merger was ejecting the Sasikala family from the party. He declined comment when asked about OPS's 'other important condition'-probe into Jayalalithaa's demise. The probe issue, however, has been discussed in both the factions at length and at different stages, according to sources. “That's one condition that will be difficult if not impossible to meet; at least, you cannot make that as a precondition to the merger process”, said an EPS camp leader, adding, “At best, you can say we must keep that at the back of our minds”. Elaborating, he said, “Probing the former CM's demise will be extremely difficult and will open up impossible challenges, not just involving the doctors and the hospital but also crime investigators and the judiciary. Above all, how will we respond if we land in a situation where someone in the course of this so-called probe says the body should be exhumed? There are serious problems; besides, the hospital has made it clear that all its procedures and treatment had been transparent and open to scrutiny. We are sure that OPS will understand the sensitivities involved in this”.

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