The deputy chief minister said he met Dinakaran in July 2017 but decided to join the EPS camp soon after.
File photo of Tamil Nadu Deputy Chief Minister O Panneerselvam.
“When the government was under threat, I met TTV [Dinakaran] through a mutual friend’s appeal. I thought TTV was repenting, but he was unchanged. It was only after the meeting that my camp decided to merge with the EPS (chief minister Edapaddi K Palaniswamy) camp.
“I never thought TTV would stoop to this level. I went in good faith. I’m the deputy chief minister. Why would I attempt to topple the government? I did not attempt to meet TTV again. I won’t indulge in such cheap acts to become the chief minister,” Panneerselvam said.
He added that he had not attempted to meet Dinakaran since July or send his relatives and a messenger to meet him.
Ahead of the 18 AIADMK MLAs’ disqualification case verdict, Dinakaran on Friday revealed that Panneerselvam had sought an appointment with him through a mediator in the last week of September.
He said the deputy chief minister had also met him in July 2017 ahead of the merger of the Palaniswami and Panneerselvam camps.
“In September, O Panneerselvam had sent a message to me through a mediator seeking an appointment. The message sent was that he was ready to ditch EPS and join hands with me. OPS also intended to get me a good position in the government. I am saying this now because OPS is maintaining double standards. His interest is to become the chief minister.”
The development comes a day after OPS, in a consultative meet with party functionaries in Madurai district, asserted that he would extend his support to Palaniswami to protect the government and added that he was not after posts.
On August 22, 2017, the EPS and OPS factions merged. The development followed an announcement by the chief minister about the setting up of a commission to probe J Jayalalithaa’s death.