Focus of political crisis in Tamil Nadu on February 9 shifted to the Raj Bhawan from the residences of V K Sasikala and O Panneerselvam, as Governor CH Vidyasagar Rao arrived in Chennai to take stock of the situation.
Rao will meet both Chief Minister O Panneerselvam and AIADMK General Secretary VK Sasikala after his arrival. He will meet both rivals separately.
Panneerselvam will explain that he was “forced” into tendering his resignation to the Governor, while Sasikala will stake claim to form the government as her camp claims the support of 130 MLAs.
The Governor, sources said, has decided to wait till the Supreme Court delivers its verdict on the appeal filed by the Karnataka government against the acquittal of Sasikala and others in the Rs 66 crore disproportionate assets case.
Sources said the Governor may look into the allegations by the outgoing CM that he was forced into resigning. The Governor, a political veteran, who had his humble beginnings in the RSS and had worked with veterans such as former PM AB Vajpayee, is unlikely to rush into any decision.
While Panneerselvam has declared he could prove majority on the floor of the House, Sasikala said she can be sworn-in as CM since she enjoys majority in the AIADMK Legislature Party.
While this was so, in a huge setback to Sasikala, influential AIADMK Presidium Chairperson Madhusudhanan, second after Sasikala in the party, has lent support to Panneerselvam.
Earlier, jurist Soli S Sorabjee had opined that Governor Rao should defer the swearing-in ceremony till the verdict.
If needed, the Governor will also consult legal experts here on the options before him. Another view is that the Governor should wait for the fight within the ruling party to recede and then call the leader who commands majority to form government.
Meanwhile, actor Kamal Haasan said, “Why not let Panneerselvam go on for some time? He has done his job fairly well. if the people don’t like him, they have the mandate to throw him out of power. Calling the present situation a bad climax, he said, “Sasikala reality hurts me.”