A tweet by O Panneerselvam, leader of the Puratchi Thalaivi (Amma) faction of the AIADMK, on a possible alliance with BJP after the declaration of civic polls, triggered a storm of protests, support and discussion. 

It all began with this tweet - "We will take a decision on alliance with BJP once local body elections are announced,". The tweet came from Panneerselvam's official twitter handle, @OfficeOfOPS.

The reaction was immediate. Commoners, political observers and huge numbers of those on Twitter declared either their support for the plan, or their outright shock. On the support side, most sentiment was towards - "At last, let us welcome BJP to Tamil Nadu," while the opposers mostly accused OPS of "selling out Tamil Nadu,"  

The tweet, however, was later deleted. The OPS faction clarified in a follow-up tweet that it will decide on the tie-up with 'any party' only after the local body poll dates were declared. But the change of 'BJP' to 'any party' has not soothed any sentiments, and the debate about the OPS' camp's future plans continues. 

In an apparent damage control move, the media team of the faction clarified further. "We mean that only after the announcement of local body elections we will think about the alliance with any political party," another tweet from the @OfficeOfOPS handle said in a clarification.

Strangely, the loud debate around the topic seems to have spooked the media team as well, who resorted to picking fights and also making heated comments against the media and other commentators. 

The development came a day after OPS called on Prime Minister Narendra Modi in Delhi to discuss issues concerning Tamil Nadu. A former chief minister, OPS had revolted against AIADMK chief VK Sasikala in February this year, alleging he was forced to make way for her to the state's top post.

Later, he led a host of MPs, MLAs and senior leaders to form a faction of his own.

He had also fielded E Madusudanan for the now cancelled April 12 RK Nagar bypoll against AIADMK (Amma) Deputy General Secretary T T V Dhinakaran. BJP had nominated Gangai Amaren for the election. The Election Commission had cancelled the bypoll over the use of money power to influence voters.

The proposed merger talks between the two factions of the AIADMK, led by OPS and current TN chief minister K Palaniswami, has remained a non-starter owing to the former's insistence on expulsion of Sasikala, Dhinakaran and their family members from the AIADMK.