An unfazed O Panneerselvam camp on Tuesday rejected the appointment of Sasikala loyalist Edappadi K Palanisamy as AIADMK Legislature Party leader. “Nobody has the authority to elect anybody,” was the terse response from School Education Minister K Pandiarajan, a supporter of Panneerselvam. He was responding to reporters’ queries to Palaniswami being elected the Legislature Party leader, hours after the Supreme Court upheld a trial court verdict against AIADMK General Secretary Sasikala in a disproportionate assets case.
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Palanisamy was elected at a meeting of party MLAs chaired by Sasikala held at a resort, where the legislators have been staying for last few days following the revolt by Panneerselvam. Meanwhile, Sasikala expelled caretaker Chief Minister O Panneerselvam from the party by removing him from the primary membership of AIADMK. In a statement, Palanisamy said, “All MLAs have elected me as the legislature party leader, soon will meet Governor with support letter of MLAs.”
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The Sasikala camp wrote to Governor C Vidyasagar Rao seeking his appointment at the earliest. Palanisamy is likely to meet the governor today and stake claim to form the government. However, things could quickly change as a team headed by Panneerselvam and education minister Pandiarajan will visit Kuvathur and seek the support of the remaining MLAs. Reacting to the apex court verdict in the DA case, Panneerselvam said: “Unfinished task left over by Amma must be fulfilled, therefore I urge AIADMK MLAs and ministers to resume their work.”