Chennai: Tamil Nadu drama refuses to die down as Governor has refused to invite VK Sasikala for the oath taking ceremony despite her enjoying the support of a large majority of MLAs of the ruling party. While a few disgruntled AIADMK elements have joined O Panneerselvam camp, they can be counted on fingers.
The false impression being given by the Panneerselvam camp that the MLAs were forcibly kept at a resort and were not allowed to venture out, turned out to be another farce as police and revenue department officials met them individually. A few MLAs who talked to the media made it clear that they were there on their own and not forced to be there.
In the meantime BJP leader and renowned economist Dr Subramanian Swamy came out in open support of Sasikala, who is the legislature party leader of the AIADMK. He said that constitutionally Sasikala must be sworn in as chief minister since she enjoys the support of majority MLAs. It is amazing as to how he is supporting her as he was the one who approached Supreme Court against Sasikala and Jayalalithaa’s acquittal by Karnataka High Court.
In the meantime, clearly annoyed by Governor’s delaying tactics, Sasikala said that it was aimed at breaking the party. “AIADMK MLAs are strong. Felt like meeting family members when I met them. I think delaying decision (on inviting us to form government) is an attempt to divide the party,” says Ms. Sasikala after returning to Poes Garden after a meeting with party MLAs at Kuvathur.
Sasikala said that she and her party may change their plan beginning tomorrow. “We will fight in a different manner tomorrow,” she said while talking at her residence.
In the meantime there are reasons to believe that Governor might have decided to wait for the Supreme Court’s verdict on the wealth case. On the other hand Panneerselvam got support from a few more AIADMK smalltimes leaders. On to join him was Pandiarajan, who holds school education and youth affairs portfolio in the current cabinet.
On the other hand there are reasons to believe that Panneerselvam has sought time to prove his majority. Panneerselvam’s camp has alleged that lawmakers were forced to sign blank sheets which have been misused by Ms Sasikala to show that she has majority support. The 66-year-old, who met the Governor on the same day that Ms Sasikala staked claim, has reportedly sought five days from the Governor to gather support of party lawmakers and stake claim to be chief minister again. He is holding interim charge after his resignation was accepted. This is simply surprising that the one with majority support is being made to wait, while the one with really no support is being given time to ensure defection and split in the party.
Meanwhile the activing chief minister Mr. Panneerselvam’s Twitter handle says Rural Industries Minister Benjamin will shortly visit the chief minister and extend his support. But Benjami hasn’t opened his cards till now.