Tamil Nadu Chief Minister O Panneerselvam on Wednesday dismissed AIADMK General Secretary VK Sasikala’s charge that the Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (DMK) was behind his revolt against the party leadership and said she has no powers to sack him as treasurer. “She should be asked to explain the basis of her charge. I was never cordial with DMK. A look back into the history will make it clear,” he told Tamil TV channels after his sudden revolt on Monday night.
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As the political drama unfolded, security at the Greenways Road residence of Panneerselvam was stepped up even as scores of supporters started thronging the area. AIADMK MLAs, meanwhile, are meeting at the party headquarters to discuss the situation arising out of Panneerselvam’s outburst. “There is no relationship at all between me and the DMK. It’s only the human approach to reciprocate when some one smiles at you. That is the difference between animals and humans,” Panneerselvam said. He was referring to Sasikala pointing to the exchange of pleasantries between him and DMK Working President MK Stalin, the Leader of the opposition in the Assembly.
He also stuck to his charge that he was forced to resign from the post of chief minister, but declined to answer a question whether he would stake claim with the Governor to continue, saying, “Just wait and watch.”
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“I don’t want to go into it. I had already explained in detail at Amma’s (Jayalalithaa) memorial the circumstances under which I was forced to resign,” he said. Elaborating on his contention that Sasikala had no powers to sack him from the party post, Panneerselvam said there were already legal problems facing the party. He said the General Secretary was elected on a temporary basis in view of the extraordinary situation faced by the party (after Jayalalithaa’s demise).
“This is the party’s norm. As per the party’s constitution framed by founder MG Ramachandran at the time floating the AIADMK, legal sanction for the post will come only when all primary members elect the General Secretary. Such a General Secretary alone has the powers to appoint or remove party functionaries,” he said. On the strong attack against him by AIADMK leaders, including his cabinet colleagues, Panneerselvam said it was a “compulsion of time”.
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“They can only speak like that when they are there (with Sasikala). They are in a state of mind of retaining their office for the next four years. They should act keeping in mind that they have to go back to the people,” he said. On the charge that he had betrayed the party high command, the senior leader said he resigned when he was forced only because he did not want the charge to fall on him. Asked about the allegations by opponents levelled against that the BJP was behind him, Pannerselvam said, “They (his opponents) don’t have any strong ground against me. They can’t level any allegation against me.”