In a dizzying turn of events, O Panneerselvam emerged at the Jayalalitha Memorial on February 7 night to oppose AIADMK chief VK Sasikala as CM. “I am ready to take back my resignation if the people wish,” he added.
After a 40-minute meditation at the memorial, he spoke to the media and claimed that ‘Amma’ came into his dream and ordered him to again take over as the CM. It was Jayalalithaa who had asked him to take over as CM when she was in the hospital.
For his courage, Sasikala after convening an emergency meeting at Jayalalithaa’s Poes Garden removed Pamnnerselvam as treasurer of the party and also sacked him from the primary membership of the party.
Earlier, Panneerselvam, who was looked down upon as a spineless sycophant, said he wasn’t told about the February 5 MLAs’ meeting. He created tremors in Tamil Nadu politics by alleging that Sasikala’s lobby forced him to resign from the CM’s post and propose her name as the new incumbent.
Pannerselvam said, “I came to know that Sasikala’s name will be proposed as legislative leader when I reached Poes Garden. As I was not convinced of the move, I dilly-dallied and reasoned with them. But Sasikala held my hands and asked me to obey the decision for the party. I was forced to sign the resignation.”
Jumping up in Sasikala’s defense, AIADMK spokesperson Vaigaiselvam dismissed Panneerselvam’s charges. “How can anyone force a CM to resign? It was Panneerselvam who proposed Sasikala’s name.”
After the emergency meeting, briefing reporters for the first time Sasikala alleged DMK was responsible for Panneerselvam’s open revolt against her and asserted that majority of AIADMK MLAs were still in her favour. When asked if she thought that her swearing-in was being delayed by the Governor, she said, “I feel the same what you feel.”
Meanwhile, Stalin said Panneerselvam’s statement that he was pressurised to quit was shocking. “In Tamil Nadu, a situation of a virtual absence of governance has arisen and that Sasikala won’t allow Pannerselvam to do his job has become clear.”
BJP leader H Raja said, “The Governor can check if the signatures affixed by MLAs voicing support for Sasikala was out of their own desire.”
Former union minister Anbumani Ramadoss tweeted, “I request the Governor to hear each and every MLA individually before appointing the next CM.”