After witnessing many false starts and plenty of bargaining, the merger of AIADMK has finally been announced officially. The merger was announced today between the two factions, one led by Chief Minister E Palaniswami or EPS and the other led by O Panneerselvam or OPS. The two leaders could be seen shaking hands today and they also went to the beachside memorial of J Jayalalithaa, to pay their respects to the prominent AIADMK leader. The memorial was the place where Panneerselvam has started his rebellion against VK Sasikala. After the merger, the AIADMK has agreed to oust Sasikala from the party. Sasikala is currently lodged in a jail in Bengaluru. Sasikala’s removal was one of the key demands of the OPS faction. Speaking about the merger, Panneerselvam said, “The burden in my heart is gone. No one can separate us, we are children of Amma (Jayalalithaa), and we are brothers.”
After the merger, Panneerselvam will become the deputy Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu. This is technically a demotion for him, but he has agreed to it in the interest of the party. Earlier, the OPS faction was demanding that Panneerselvam be given the post of the Chief Minister. Panneerselvam will also take up the role of party coordinator and he will be assisted by a coordination committee. Three of the legislators in OPS camp will be given ministerial berths.