Amidst the intense power struggle within ruling AIADMK, the O Panneerselvam camp today got a boost with three more MPs extending support to the Chief Minister. The party’s Lok Sabha MPs Jaisingh Thiyagaraj Natterjee (Tuticorin), Senguttuvan (Vellore) and R P Marutharaja (Perambalur) extended their support to Pannerselvam. The MPs called on Panneerselvam at his Greenways Road residence this morning and extended solidarity to him.
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Four AIADMK Lok Sabha MPS — P R Sundaram, K Ashok Kumar, V Sathyabama and Vanaroja — had already switched over to the Chief Minister’s camp, pledging support to him. Rajya Sabha MP V Maitreyan is also in the Panneerselvam camp. Panneerselvam at present also enjoys the support of seven MLAs, including him. In the 235-member Tamil Nadu Assembly, AIADMK has 135 MLAs.
AIADMK Fisheries wing Joint Secretary K A Jeyapaul, a Minister in the 2011-16 Jayalalithaa cabinet and former Erode Mayor Mallika Paramasivan also joined the Panneerselvam camp today. On February 5, AIADMK General Secretary VK Sasikala was elected as the party’s Legislature Leader, a step towards her elevation as Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu. However, two days later, Panneerselvam had raised a revolt against her, alleging he was forced to step down for her. AIADMK has 37 MPs in Lok Sabha and 13 in Rajya Sabha.