AIADMK general secretary VK Sasikala’s attempts to form a government in Tamil Nadu received a setback after state education minister K Pandiarajan crossed over to O Panneerselvam’s camp. The minister, who is an MLA from Avadi, had tweeted hours ago, “Will surely listen to the collective voice of my voters & decide in a way to uphold the dignity of Amma’s memory & unity of AIADMK !” in what many thought was a change of heart.
The minister, who was a strong supporter of Sasikala just a day ago, had earlier refuted reports that MLAs were being kept captive by the party’s general secretary. In his earlier tweets, Pandiarajan had alleged that Panneerselvam was being instigated by the DMK to split the party and capture power. The education minister’s entry into the chief minister’s camp strengthens his position and will likely encourage more leaders from the Sasikala camp to defect. Earlier in the day, two party MPs Ashok Kumar and PR Sundaram had offered support to Panneerselvam.
Meanwhile, Sasikala wrote a letter to Governor Vidyasagar Rao seeking an appointment with him to hand over letter confirming support from a majority of the MLAs. She urged the Governor to act immediately in the interest of the state. At the Poes Garden residence, Sasikala said, “We will do whatever’s necessary” when patience is stretched to the limits.