The response to acting Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu O Panneerselvam’s revolt against AIADMK’s General Secretary and legislature party chief Sasikala Natarajan shows that further actions may now create a groundswell of support for him, significantly altering Sasikala’s plan to become the CM of the state.
In a dramatic late night move on Tuesday, the usually passive Panneerselvam claimed that he was forced to resign as chief minister to pave the way for Sasikala. Within minutes, he was sacked from his position as party’s treasurer. A section of the party leaders, AIADMK cadres, general public and huge number of people on social media have rallied behind him.
WATCH | All Out War In AIADMK, Sasikala Natarajan Hits Back At O Panneerselvam
On Wednesday afternoon, a meeting of AIADMK MLAs was called by Sasikala where she said that the party was united. Sasikala was said to have the support of all the party leaders when she took control of the AIADMK. Panneerselvam’s claim that he was kept in the dark about legislature party meetings and other key decisions of the party, however, may now hit Sasikala’s claim as the deserving ‘heir’ of Jayalalithaa’s legacy. It was said that O Panneerselvam had gladly stepped down from his position to make way for her election as legislature party chief and the next chief minister.
Panneerselvam was entrusted with the CM’s chair on multiple occasions by late Jayalalithaa when she was sent to prison. But Sasikala now claims that he is hand-in-gloves with the DMK and that he and the Opposition party are conspiring to split the AIADMK.
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Sasikala was a long-time aide of Jayalalithaa and after her demise she was appointed as the party General Secretary. It came as a surprise when OPS was hurriedly sworn is as the CM after her death and Sasikala’s appointment happened a few days later. Rumours were rife in party circles for few months now that ground was being laid for a takeover, a coup of sorts, to give complete control of Tamil Nadu politics to Sasikala.
On Tuesday night, OPS had visited Jayalalithaa Memorial on Marina beach and revealed that his resignation as CM was forced and that he would fight for democracy in his party till his death.
WATCH VIDEO | O. Panneerselvam: 10 Things You Need To Know
His words and actions have now sent a clear signal to the public that OPS is braced for a standoff with the Sasikala camp and that he wishes to challenge the power centre that has tilted in Sasikala’s It seems the voices of dissent may get louder now as the power centres in the party move towards a deeper wedge.