Tamil Nadu’s acting chief minister, O Panneerselvam, on Tuesday openly revolted against VK Sasikala vowing to launch a fight against the latter’s appointment as both the party’s general secretary and the chief minister.
This was after he left everyone shocked after his sudden decision to visit the burial site of late Chief Minister Jayalalithaa in Marina beach for unscheduled meditation.
Panneerselvam sat quietly for nearly 40 minutes amidst unprecedented media glare prompting many to indulge in speculation game. He was chosen to succeed Jayalalithaa after the latter’s death.
Speaking to media, he said that Jayalalithaa’s spirit asked him to reveal the truth and ‘that’s why I am standing here.’
He said, “J Jayaalithaa was admitted in hospital and during the 75 days stay in the hospital, I was told that her health condition had deteriorated. I was told that the party and the government needed to be saved. I asked what was the hurry. I was told that such an emergency decision needed to be taken. I heeded to that advice.”
He added, “Amma wanted Speaker Madhusudhan to be the General Secretary of AIADMK. They told me that no other name would be publicly acceptable to fill in Amma’s shoes, so I agreed.. I have performed my duty without any shortcomings and carried forward path shown by Amma.”
He continued, “I was given the CM post but insulted continuously. I was forced to resign and propose the name of Sasikala as the new chief minister… At a meeting at Sasikala’s place senior party leaders were present and question of her being appointed the CM came. I asked how far was this justified?
“Party leaders said I have to take initiative towards making Sasikala CM that’s how I was forced to tender resignation. One who can protect the interest of the state should become the Chief Minister… I will take back my resignation if party workers and people ask me to.”
Meanwhile, news agency ANI quoted sources as saying that Sasikala will not be sworn in as Tamil Nadu CM on Wednesday adding that the state governor, who is currently in Mumbai will not go to Chennai tomorrow.
Panneerselvam, meanwhile, will remain interim chief minister until the governor examines legal implications regarding Sasikala’s appointment.
Over a month after she took charge as AIADMK General Secretary following Jayalalithaa’s demise, V K Sasikala was on 5 January elected legislature party leader, paving the way for her to become the Tamil Nadu Chief Minister.
At a meeting of party MLAs here, it was O Panneerselvam, who had proposed the name of Sasikala as legislature party leader. This is the reason why an overwhelming majority of the AIADMK functionaries have shot down what they termed conspiracy theories attached to Panneerselvam’s meditation.