Amid allegations of “calculation errors” against the Karnataka High Court, which acquitted former Tamil Nadu chief minister J Jayalalithaa in a corruption case Monday, Tamil Nadu Chief Minister O Panneerselvam and his cabinet ministers visited the AIADMK chief’s Poes Garden residence here Wednesday. Although the visit triggered speculation that Panneerselvam might soon resign from the CM’s post to make way for Jayalalithaa, he and his ministers left her residence after two hours without divulging information about their next course of action.
Interestingly, on Tuesday, a day after Jayalalithaa was acquitted by the high court in a disproportionate assets case, the Chief Minister and four of his ministers had visited Poes Garden, only to return a while later, reportedly after having a chat with Jayalalithaa over the intercom.
Panneerselvam and his cabinet members discussed the latest developments and the party’s future course of action with Jayalalithaa on Wednesday, said sources in the party. Refusing to confirm reports that the meeting with Jayalalithaa was once again held over the intercom, sources said they had all been briefed about the latest developments in the case.
“The next step may be revealed on Thursday. If at all O Panneerselvam resigns and Amma takes over, it will be a low-profile event like the last time. Media personnel may not be invited or informed. No final confirmation of the date of the swearing-in has been sent to Raj Bhavan,” he said.
On Monday, Jayalalithaa didn’t make an appearance before the hundreds of followers who had gathered at her residence to celebrate her acquittal; the day after, she didn’t meet the CM and the ministers who had come to visit her. Insiders say the AIADMK chief refrained from doing so as both days were “inauspicious” according to the Hindu calender.
There seemed to be no such reason preventing her from meeting Panneerselvam and his ministers on Wednesday, but Jayalalithaa reportedly again communicated with them via the intercom. Some local media outlets have stipulated that health problems may have kept Jayalalithaa from meeting the chief minister and the ministers.
AIADMK spokesperson C R Saraswathy claimed that Jayalalithaa is busy studying a copy of the judgment. “Actually, there is nothing wrong in the Karnataka High Court’s judgement. Everything has been done properly. Unfortunately, the Opposition is making an issue out of nothing and playing politics with the judgment. Amma is not a corrupt leader. She pays income tax regularly,” Saraswathy told mediapersons in Chennai.
Meanwhile, opposition parties continued to rake up the alleged ‘mathematical errors’ in the verdict.
PMK President G K Mani, along with a team of lawyers, met Karnataka Chief Minister Siddaramaiah on Wednesday and urged the state government to file an immediate appeal in the Supreme Court against the HC judgement.
In a statement, PMK founder Ramadoss listed many more “errors” in the judgment and claimed that the evil of corruption can be driven away only if the judgment of Karnataka High Court Justice C R Kumarswamy is revised.
“The Karnataka government should consider these issues and appeal against the verdict in higher courts,” he stated.