Moving closer to a merger, chief minister Edappadi K Palaniswami faction is scheduled to meet at the party headquarters in a short while today and pass a resolution nullifying the appointment of jailed general secretary V K Sasikala.
“The office-bearers of headquarters have been told to come at 11.30am,” said a party insider. Former chief minister O Panneerselvam also convened a meeting with his office-bearers and elected representatives at his Greenways Road residence at 10am.
Meanwhile, Raj Bhavan sources confirmed the arrival of governor C Vidyasagar Rao to Chennai at 1pm on Monday. His visit to Chennai triggered speculations of the possible expansion of EPS cabinet, with inclusion of Panneerselvam and his senior leaders, S Semmalai and K Pandiarajan after the merger is completed.
Panneerselvam, along with supporters will visit party headquarters around noon, upon getting a “positive signal” from the EPS group. The former CM last visited the party headquarters on February 5, hours after tendering his resignation. The two leaders are expected to jointly address the media, and later visit Jayalalithaa’s memorial.
Expulsion of Sasikala clan from the party is one of the primary conditions laid down by Panneerselvam faction. The other demands are CBI inquiry into the death of former chief minister J Jayalalithaa and convert her residence into a memorial. The EPS camp is meeting all the demands, including passing a resolution on August 10 to cancel the appointment of TTV Dhinakaran as deputy general secretary.
When he was appointed by Sasikala, Dhinakaran failed to meet the criteria of completion of five years in the party to hold a post. He was expelled by Jayalalithaa in 2011, along with Sasikala and 12 others.
After sacking Sasikala, the EPS-OPS factions also likely to set up a steering committee headed by Panneerselvam. The 15 member committee will have Palaniswami, MP R Vaithilingam, former minister K P Munusamy as co-convenors. The merger will pave way for the party to convene a general council at the earliest to ratify the resolution passed at the meeting.