Governor Lands In Chennai, To Meet Panneerselvam Before Sasikala: 10 Points
CHENNAI: Hours before she meets the Governor to stake claim to be Tamil Nadu’s next Chief Minister, AIADMK chief VK Sasikala has lost the support of top party leader E Madhusudhanan to O Panneerselvam, who has underscored that he will not give up the Chief Minister’s post without a fight. He will meet the Governor too today, before Ms Sasikala. Though Ms Sasikala has complete support within their party, Mr Panneerselvam says many legislators are privately in touch with him and will support him if he is allowed to take a trust vote. To ensure they do not get influenced by Mr Panneerselvam and change their minds, Ms Sasikala has since yesterday hidden more than 130 party’s legislators in hotels and resorts in and around Chennai.
Here are the 10 latest developments in this story:
- Mr Panneerselvam, asked to hold interim charge after he resigned on Sunday, has spent the last few hours proving that he is the head of the state, meeting with top bureaucrats and police officials. He will meet Governor C Vidyasagar Rao at 5 pm today, before Ms Sasikala, who has an appointment at 7 pm.
- Governor Rao, who has been criticised for staying away from Chennai, landed in Chennai this evening and what happens next in the political crisis depends entirely on him. He has asked both Mr Panneerselvam and VK Sasikala to be accompanied by no more than 10 people each.
- The Governor’s absence allowed Ms Sasikala’s opponents the opportunity to transform what promised to be a hitchless ascension backed by her entire party, into a political crisis. Her supporters say that the Governor has therefore played a not-so-covert role in undermining her legitimate right to take over as Chief Minister.
- Mr Panneerselvam says the isolation of the AIADMK’s legislators by Ms Sasikala amounts to them being held hostage. “If she is so sure of their support”, he said on NDTV last night, why is she not allowing them to talk to me?”
- Mr Madhusudhanan, who is the AIADMK’s number 2 as its Presidium Chairman, arrived a short while ago at Mr Panneerselvam’s residence and the two leaders have together attacked Ms Sasikala, alleging that she “threatened” Mr Madhusudhanan.
- The Supreme Court has said that it will rule next week on whether Ms Sasikala and Ms Jayalalithaa are guilty of corruption in a case dating to the early 90s. The Governor has reportedly sought legal advice on whether Ms Sasikala should be asked to wait to take office till the verdict is delivered.
- On Sunday, the AIADMK met and decided that VK Sasikala will be the new Chief Minister. Mr Panneerselvam sent his resignation to the Governor. 48 hours later, he dramatically announced that he was coerced to quit. Though O Panneerselvam says he will push for the chance to take a trust vote in the legislature, he cannot withdraw his resignation, which has been accepted.
- His revelation was made at the beachside memorial of J Jayalalithaa, his mentor, who died in December while she was Chief Minister after 75 days in hospital. Ms Jayalalithaa, a five-time chief minister, had immaculate control over the party and deity-like status among lakhs of supporters who referred to her as “Amma” or mother.
- Because Ms Sasikala was her constant companion, she is known as “Chinnamma” (mother’s younger sister). When Jayalalithaa died, it was Ms Sasikala who ensured that within hours, Mr Panneerselvam became Chief Minister. The top-speed action was intended to pre-empt a contest for leadership after Ms Jayalalithaa’s death.
- Public opinion appears tilted in favour of Mr Panneerselvam, who was hand-picked by Ms Jayalalithaa twice to fill in for her as Chief Minister when corruption cases forced her to step down. While she was hospitalised, he was entrusted with running key departments that reported directly to her. In contrast, Ms Sasikala is being vetoed on social media and in Chennai for lacking any credential other than her proximity to Ms Jayalalithaa. She has never won an election either within or outside her party.
Source : NDTV
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