In an open war, care taker chief minister of Tamil Nadu O Pannerselvam and AIADMK Sasikala lashed out at each other as crisis in the party deepened further on Sunday. Rejecting as rumour the reports of party MLAs being locked up, Sasikala hit out at Pannerselvam saying he is trying to destroy the party and asserted that she will form the government in Tamil Nadu. “Panneerselvam who was a minister for so long, is today all out to destroy. It is same as hitting your eye with your own finger” said an emotional Sasikala while addressing the AIADMK MLAs at Golden Bay resort in Chennai.
Panneerselvam, however, strongly responded to Sasikala’s allegation saying shedding crocodile tears will not help her. “Shedding crocodile tears, passing new remarks every day is not going to help. Will prove everything in assembly,” said Panneerselvam while talking to media. She also raised doubt over Jayalalithaa’s death and asked why her niece was not allowed to see her dead body. “Deepa (Jayalalithaa’s niece) was not allowed to even see Amma’s body? Why?,” said Panneerselvam.
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He also alleged harassment and torture and said only Jayalaithaa stood by her in all these years. “Telling this for the first time, I was subjected to harassment and torture all these years. Only Amma stood by me all these years,” said the chief minister.
“You can see truth that non of our MLAs have been forcibly kept here, we are living here as a family,” said Sasikala after her meeting with all the MLAs. “Opposition parties are spreading rumours. Party MLAs are not locked up,” she added.
Amid political uncertainty, Sasikala went to Golden bay resort to meet the party MLAs as nine of AIADMK MPs joined the Panneerselvam camp. Addressing her first press conference after the revolt by Panneerselvam, Sasikala slammed the rivals and said that she will form the government in Tamil Nadu. She also said that she is waiting for the Supreme Court’s verdict in the disproportionate asset case against her and maintained that her rivals will not succeed in their plan to topple her. “Let it (verdict) come, I will see. Party workers, and forces now opposing us will not succeed in their attempts, won’t let it happen. Please wait and see our next move,” said Sasikala.
She asserted that she will not move away from her responsibility will stand with the party as she stood with Jayalalithaa. “I will achieve everything if you all stand firmly behind me, I wont move away, I will be firm as I have been with ‘Amma’,” said Sasikala. She took a pledge that she will form the government in Tamil Nadu and then visit Jayalaithaa’s memorial. “We will form the Govt, will then visit Amma’s memorial & take a photograph, will show it to the world then. This is our pledge. Portrait of Amma has to be installed in state assembly to show gratitude. Some people with us don’t want it to happen,” she said.
Earlier in the day, the AIADMK general secretary said that it was “very difficult” for a woman to survive in politics, which she had seen in the time of Jayalalithaa too, and asserted that the MLAs were with her. “As General Secretary, I can tell that the AIADMK government will certainly continue for the next four and a half years and serve people,” she said.
She also denied writing any apology letter to Jayalalithaa after her expulsion from the party, as claimed by Pannerselvam.”There is a fake letter in my name doing the rounds in social media and a friend brought it to my notice. You (media) should also see it. It is very difficult for a woman to be in politics. Have seen that during purathchi thalaivi’s (Jayalalithaa) times also, but she overcame it,” Sasikala said.