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Even before talks, Edappadi Palanisamy takes affidavit route to strengthen hold over party

Even as merger talks are expected in a day or two, the AIADMK (A) has taken efforts to strengthen its hold over the party by asking its district secretaries to sign an affidavit supporting Chief Minister Edappadi K Palanisamy as party head, informed sources told DTNEXT on Wednesday.

Even before talks, Edappadi Palanisamy takes affidavit route to strengthen hold over party
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Tamil Nadu Chief Minister Edappadi K Palanisamy

Chennai

The affidavits will be submitted to the Election Commission (EC) shortly thereby enabling the EC to interact with him directly in the absence of both the party general secretary and deputy general secretary. 

Sources said that the affidavit could empower EPS to run the party. While 16 district secretaries from the northern areas of the state signed the affidavit on Tuesday, EPS met another 17 district secretaries from the western belt - to which he belongs - on Wednesday. 

“They also have extended their support through necessary affidavits,” party sources added. “Thursday will be the final day when EPS will meet the remaining 17 district secretaries for the same purpose,” sources revealed.

However, what effect this move will have on the proposed merger talks between the two factions will only be known later as the OPS faction has placed only two demands for talks – CBI inquiry into former chief minister Jayalalithaa’s death and the total ouster of Sasikala’s relatives from the AIADMK and Poes Garden. Sources added that the affidavit could be changed later, if found necessary. 

Asked about this, AIADMK (PTA) spokesman and former minister C Ponnaiyan said, “If true, this could be an indirect way to put off the merger talks. Desiring to come to the talking table and simultaneously undertaking ways to keep the party within their hold is contradictory.” Asked whether EPS’ move would bear fruit, he said, “It can be done if it has the approval of the general council. But first the council has to be convened.”

Ponnaiyan also said people have started doubting Jayalalithaa’s death because she was injected with steroids unnecessarily before being brought to the hospital. Referring to Dinakaran’s arrest he said it was right as he had attempted to bribe the EC in a bid to get the party’s Two Leaves symbol.

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