August 17, 2017
The Edapaddi Palanisamy government on Thursday gave in to the main demand of former chief minister O Panneerselvam and ordered a judicial probe into the death of former chief minister and AIADMK supremo J Jayalalithaa.
An impartial and independent probe into the death of Jayalalithaa was the main demand of OPS for merger with ruling EPS faction, among other things. On Thursday, chief minister Palanisamy ordered a probe by a retired high court judge into the death of Jayalalithaa and ceded to his other demand of turning Veda Nilayam, 81 Poes Garden residence of Amma into a memorial.
The other demand of OPS, keeping Dinakaran and Sasikala away from the AIADMK and government, has already been conceded when EPS and senior AIADMK leaders ‘ousted” Dinakaran from the party post saying it was illegal and his appointment was inappropriately done.
With all the demands of OPS being met, the buzz is that the merger could happen anytime soon, ahead of BJP national president Amit Shah’s visit to Tamil Nadu early next week.
Senior BJP leader H Raja welcomed the CM decision and said if it lead to merger it was a welcome move. Since all the conditions are met by the chief minister, the AIADMK is moving towards the merger into one entity.
Chief Minister Palanisamy announced the decision to constitute a probe committee headed by a retired judge, and said that details would be announced soon. The scope of the commission and the name of the judge heading the probe committee.
The CM’ other decision to turn Veda Nilayam into a memorial was welcomed by people at large as the occupation of the house by Sasikala and her clan had not gone down well with the masses.
The decision was welcomed by a senior OPS camp member as a “step in the right direction” but refrained from making any firm commitment on the merger, schedule or nature.
M Foi Pandiarajan, former minister and OPS camp leader, denied that there was a hidden hand of BJP in the merger and said that time was ripe for a merger between the two factions.
Senior ministers in the AIADMK expressed the hope that the merger could take place anytime soon.
State minister RT Ramachandran, said “merger will happen very soon.”
Prof Ramu Manivannan said “all indications are that the merger would happen, but at what cost is the question.”
The opposition DMK and Congress criticised the CM’s actions and said they were nothing but moves to satisfy OPS, who had set them as preconditions for coming together.
DMK spokesperson TKS Elangovan alleged that BJP was directing all the operations here. The judicial probe is just an eyewash, he said. A senior Congress leader said even to turn Veda Nilayam into a memorial was not an easy task as there would be legal hurdles.