Updated: February 10, 2017 1:10:21 pm
Will it be a President Rule in Tamil Nadu or a government formed by either O Paneerselvam or Sasikala? These are the questions in everybody’s mind as crisis in AIADMK deepend further with both Paneerselvam and Sasikala holding separate meetings with Governor Vidyasagar Rao on Thursday amid political uncertainity. “We had a detailed discussion with Governor Ch Vidyasagar Rao about all that is happening in Tamil Nadu… For sure, good thing will happen, dharma will win,” Paneerselvam, the care taker chief minister, told media after his 10-minute meeting with the governor.
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He, however, did not take any questions and merely gestured with folded hands when asked about his discussions with the Governor. He quoted a popular Tamil verse of nationalist poet Subramanya Bharathi, the import of which is “though dharma could be eclipsed by intrigue, it will be dharma which will triumph ultimately”.
Sasikala on the other hand went to the governor with a list of MLAs supporting her after paying homage to Jayalalithaa at Marina beach. She was accompanied by five senior AIADMK leaders. She reportedly staked claim to form the government with a support of over 130 MLAs. Panneerselvam, who has repeatedly asserted that he will be able to prove his strength on the floor of the House, has not yet disclosed the number of MLAs supporting him. He currently has the support of leaders like former Ministers KP Munusamy, Natham R Viswanathan, Rajya Sabha MP V Maithreyan and a few sitting MLAs, besides AIADMK Presidium Chairman E Madusudanan, who switched sides and is now backing Panneerselvam.
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Before going to stake claim, Sasikala, attired in her signature green saree, visited the memorial of late chief minister J Jayalalithaa along with hundreds of supporters, including some senior Ministers. Sasikala placed at the memorial a big envelope believed to be containing the list of MLAs who have endorsed her candidature for the top post.
She offered rose petals and knelt down at the memorial where Jayalalithaa has been buried.
The meeting of both the leaders came two days after Panneerselvam revolted against Sasikala, claiming that he was forced to resign from the Chief Minister’s post to clear way for her for the top post. After his revolt, Panneerselvam has maintained he was willing to reconsider his resignation if the people desired.
Meanwhile, according to an online survey, conducted by a social engagement platform for registering citizens’ grievances LocalCircles, 54 per cent of people in Tamil Nadu favour imposition of President’s Rule and calling fresh elections to elect a new government in the state.
Earlier in the day, AIADMK presidium chairman and top leader E Madhusudanan came out in support of Panneerselvam. With his joining the Panneerselvam camp, more leaders are likely to follow. He appealed to workers to retrieve the party from dictators and rowdies in a reference to general secretary VK Sasikala. Madhusudan’s stand irked the sasikala faction as they slammed his U-turn. “It was Madhusudanan’s proposal. He supported Sasikala as a Chief Minister. Sad development that he has now turned to Panneerselvam,” said AIADMK MLA Vaigai Selvan.
Meanwhile, the Tamil film industry out its weight behind Pannerselvam raising question mark on the qualification of Sasikala. Attacking Sasikala, Kamal Hassan said her friendship with the late chief minister, Jayalalithaa, does not make her eligible for the top post. “Just sticking around with somebody for long enough does not qualify you for the profession. I am a lawyer’s son and that does not make me go and argue a case in court. I am an actor and I am trained for that,” said Hassan in an interview to a TV channel. Other actors, including R Madhvan and Arvind Swamy too joined Hassan in attacking Sasikala for the crisis in AIADMK.
(With inputs from agencies)
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