February 7, 2017 4:28:02 pm
The AIADMK appeared divided over the issue of Sasikala being appointed as new Tamil Nadu chief minister with leaders from the party addressing separate press conferences on Tuesday to express their view on the fresh development. First, AIADMK leader PH Pandian and his son, Manoj Pandian, a former Rajya Sabha member, came out with statements against Sasikala’s appointment as party general secretary and her possible elevation to chief minister post. “It’s because of the blessings of late chief ministers Jayalalithaa and M.G. Ramachandran that Ms. Natarajan’s swearing-in ceremony didn’t take place,” Pandian said.
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Hours later, two other senior leaders of the AIADMK, PS Ramachandran and KA Sengottaiyan, held a press conference slamming Pandian for speaking ouy against Sasikala. He said Pandian and his son have added confusion as they could have approached the party forums before speaking in public.
“General Secretary in-charge can be appointed,” Ramachandran said, stating that Sasikala’s elevation was in compliance with party rules and that it was valid. “The constitutional obligation of the Governor is to swear in Sasikala. There is no ground for stopping it. Nobody can stop it,” Ramachandran, who was a minister in the first MGR cabinet, added.
Asked about a PIL opposing swearing in of Sasikala as chief minister, he said the court can dismiss the petition, saying it cannot interfere in the Governor’s duty. “We decided on Sunday (to elect her as legislature party leader). The petition came to Supreme Court on Monday”.
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The press conference at the party headquarters was called to dispel rumours and wrong stories circulating about Jayalalithaa’s death.
Sengottaiyan, who was appointed organisation Secretary on Friday, said despite Pandian’s five family members being given party positions years ago which could not be seen in any other party, he has joined “detractors and was causing confusion.” He said AIADMK is a “fort” which cannot be shaken by such people.
To a question on Sasikala soon becoming Chief Minister and if there was any delay from the side of the Centre in swearing her in, Ramachandran said “he (Governor Rao) will tell when he will come.
“He has accepted the resignation of Panneerselvam, it is a question of convenience of Governor,” he said, adding, he did not see the Centre delaying it.
As soon as Governor Ch Vidyasagar Rao arrives here, Sasikala’s election as AIADMK Leader of Legislature Party will be submitted to him, he said. “After giving him (Governor) the letter, if there was any delay, only then questions about delay arise…let us see,” Ramachandran said.
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Blaming Pandian for not making efforts to unify the party in 1990 after it had split following the death of MG Ramachandran, Sengottaiyan said he did not do anything for the party then.
“What right has he got to talk now,?” he asked and alleged that he was also responsible for filing some cases against Jayalalithaa including the one against providing high-level security.
Education Minister K Pandiarajan said the process for swearing-in of Sasikala as chief minister has been initiated. “We have initiated the swearing-in thing, but before that Chinnamma(Sasikala) has to meet the Governor in person after he arrives here. She will submit the letter seeking invitation which is the normal constitutional process.
“Once it happens, I suspect the Governor will give a date which could be tomorrow or day after. More likely day after which is a good day,” he said.
Expelled AIADMK MP Sasikala Pushpa said there is a need for a judicial probe into Jayalalithaa’s death.
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