AIADMK general secretary VK Sasikala on Wednesday surrendered herself in a Bengaluru Court to serve the four-year jail term in a disproportionate assets case. Today it is expected the governor C Vidyasagar Rao will decide who will take oath as Tamil Nadu’s next Chief Minister.
Sources said he is likely to invite E Palanisamy. On Wednesday night, he first met with Mr. Palanisamy selected by Sasikala and claimed the support of 124 state legislators. Then he met acting chief minister O Panneerselvam who said he had the support of 11 state legislators but expected more supports, once they are free from a five-star resort near Chennai. Panneerselvam claimed that the MLAs were captivated in the hotel.
124 of the party’s 134 legislators or MLAs including Palanisamy were still at the Golden Bay Resort in Mahabalipuram for the ninth day. But sources said they were not forced to stay at the resort.
Fisheries Minister D Jayakumar claimed that Palanisamy had the support of 124 MLAs. He told the reporters, “We have given the Governor a list of legislators supporting our legislature party leader Palanisamy. Governor told us that our representation will be considered and we are confident that democracy will be protected.”
Earlier in the day, Sasikala before walking out from Chennai reintroduced her nephew TTV Dinakaran and Dr. Venkatesh, son of her brother Sundaravadanam into the party, five years after their removal by Jayalalithaa.
She appointed Dinakaran the deputy general secretary of the AIADMK. In a statement, she said, “Dinakaran and Venkatesh are allowed to join the party after they expressed regret for their acts in person and through letter and requested that they are allowed to join the party (again).”
Many gave a theory that this was her strategy to hand over the party’s control to Dinakaran until her return from prison. After this move, senior leader V Karuppasamy Pandian resigned as the party’s organisation secretary as he didn’t accept the decision. He said Sasikala has no authority to reinducting them. He asked if AIADMK was her “family property”.
Dinakaran said the group was waiting for the invitation from Raj Bhavan to form the government.
On Wednesday, no MLAs from the Sasikala camp joined Panneerselvam’s group. Many of them stated to media that they were not forced to stay at the resort.
An MLA SS Saravanan from Sasikala camp later joined Panneerselvam, he alleged he was abducted and forced to stay at the resort. On Wednesday, police turned up at the resort and asked questions to the MLAs.
A senior officer said, “One of the MLAs who later joined the Panneerselvam camp had played cricket at the resort campus with the other MLAs before he left. Another MLA had played cards with his colleagues the previous night. Even after we offered them security, not one was ready to come out (of the resort).”
However, Kuvathur police registered a criminal case against Sasikala and her close associates based on the MLA’s complaint.