With Tamil Nadu caretaker Chief Minister O Pannerselvam revolting against Sasikala Natarajan, the AIADMK general secretary is pulling all stops to keep the party flock intact ahead of highly anticipated floor test in the state assembly. Sasikala described Panneerselvam’s rebellion as a “betrayal” and called him a “liar”.
Panneerselvam has addressed a press conference and has showcased support from several top leaders of the party, indicating that his faction is the real AIADMK and alleging that Sasikala has betrayed Jaya and the party.
WATCH VIDEO | Emotional VK Sasikala pays tribute at Jayalalithaa’s memorial
8:27pm: O Panneerselvam meets supporters at his residence.
8:03pm: Sasikala Natarajan leaves Raj Bhavan after meeting Governor C Vidyasagar Rao.
7:45pm: Chinnamma stakes claim to form Government, says AIADMK
7:35pm: Five Senior AIADMK leaders accompany VK Sasikala to Raj Bhavan to meet Tamil Nadu Governor C Vidyasagar Rao.
7:33pm: Meeting between Sasikala Natarajan and Governor Vidyasagar Rao is underway. Visuals outside Raj Bhavan.
reaches Raj Bhavan to meet Governor Vidyasagar Rao.
6:59pm: VK Sasikala pays tributes at Jayalalithaa’s memorial at Chennai’s Marina Beach
— ANI (@ANI_news) February 9, 2017
6:58pm: Sasikala visited Jayalalithaa’s memorial before meeting Governor, got with her letter of support claiming majority, to be submitted to Vidyasagar Rao.
6:47pm: Sasikala Natarajan leaves Poes Garden residence to meet Governor Vidyasagar Rao.
5:33pm: The right thing will happen. justice will be delivered and truth will prevail. Thank all my supporters for standing with me: OPS
5:30pm: OPS speaks to reporters after meeting Governor, says “justice will prevail”.
leaves Raj Bhavan after meeting Governor Vidyasagar Rao.
5:05pm: O Panneerselvam meets Governor Vidyasagar Rao. (READ MORE)
4:35pm: TN caretaker CM O Panneerselvam to visit Governor in few minuts, may ask him to direct police to give security to 4 MLAs in Sasikala custody.
3.56 pm: Governor Vidyasagar Rao’s cavalcade arrives at Raj Bhavan. He will be first meeting the caretaker chief minister Pannerselvam at 5 pm. Around 7 pm, he will be meeting Sasikala Natarajan.
3.52 pm: Even before he steps on to the tarmac, a media scrum ambushes Vidyasagar inside the flight. He smartly ducks every question on the worsening crisis within AIADMK.
3.35 pm: The eagle has landed. Vidyasagar arrives in Chennai. Hope he caught up on some sleep during the flight as we doubt he would get any tonight.
3.15 pm: Tamil Nadu Education Minister, Pandiarajan comes to Sasikala’s defence, says AIADMK MLAs are staying in hotels on their own accord and that they have not been compelled to do anything. Referring to Pannerselvam’s resignation, he says no pressure tactics were used on him and whatever has been done so far was only after his consent. “We have letter of support for VK Sasikala from 135 MLAs including Paneerselvam, we still have that letter. All AIADMK MLAs are willing to meet the Governor if he wishes to meet as well,” he told news agency ANI.
2.50 pm: After Pannerselvam tore into Sasikala for harbouring ambitions to become chief minister, it appears the AIADMK general secretary went into a huddle with key party functionaries at Jayalalithaa’s residence at Poes Garden.
2.30 pm: With Governor Vidyasagar Rao holding the key to the deadlock between the two AIADMK factions, Pannerselvam left for the Chennai airport to receive him. He is expected to meet him at 5 pm at Raj Bhavan. And V K Sasikala is likely to parade the 131 AIADMK MLAs before him at 7 pm.
2.05 pm: “When Amma was in hospital, after 24 days Sasikala told me that she (Jayalalithaa) is fine. That was the first time she spoke to me,” O Pannerselvam says, adding that his faction is fully prepared to respond to any allegations which the other camp has leveled.
2.00 pm: In the backdrop, behind Pannerselvam and AIADMK party leaders, is a huge portrait of former CM Jayalalithaa. The message is clear – ‘We are the real AIADMK’.
1.58 pm: Panneerselvam now claims Sasikala is lying when she says she never betrayed Amma (Jayalalithaa). He’s addressing the media in Chennai where several key leaders of the party have turned up to show their support to the acting chief minister.
1. 55 pm: “Our senior leader Madhusudan was threatened and pressurised, even after that he stood alone to safeguard the party. We welcome him. It is Sasikala who is doing dirty tricks to acquire the chair of CM, if she succeeds it will be a big blot on democracy, O Pannerselvam said.
1.50 pm: OPannerselvam is the real heir of Amma (Jayalalithaa), V. Maitreyan, AIADMK Rajya Sabha MP has said.
1.40 pm: AIADMK presidium Chairman and its senior most leader E Madhusudhanan has joined the O Panneerselvam camp, and more leaders are likely to follow him. Madusudhanan alleged a mystery behind Jayalalithaa’s death, and appealed to the people of Tamil Nadu to support Panneerslevam. “All cadres should support O Panneerslevam, retrieve party from dictators… party shouldn’t be with rowdies.”
Mumbai (Maharashtra): Tamil Nadu Governor C Vidyasagar Rao leaves from Governor’s House pic.twitter.com/oyKtAzoiSy
— ANI (@ANI_news) February 9, 2017
12.05 pm: On Friday, Supreme Court will hear the plea filed by Chennai-based NGO, Satta Panchayat Iyakkam against the move to appoint V K Sasikala as Tamil Nadu chief minister.
11.10 am: We have our first casualty in the AIADMK turf war. Sasikala Natarajan sacks Puducherry Former MLA Om Sakthi Sekar from AIADMK.
10.48 am: OPS doing some early spring cleaning? He is finalising plans to remove top cops including DGP Rajendran, COP George and P Thamaraikannan by today evening.
10.47 am: DMK MP Kanimozhi says her party is staying away from AIADMK crisis: “DMK is not getting involved in these issues, all these are their (AIADMK) internal problems. Its ugly and sad.”
10.44 am: Arun Janardhanan reports from Chennai: Sasikala camp is talking to Congress, which has 8 MLAs, to prevent DMK’s alleged plan to topple the government if OPS gets support of minimum 20 MLAs. As things stand, OPS has the support of three AIADMK MLAs.
10.36 am: If caretaker Chief Minister Pannerselvam has his way, Sasikala will be without a roof over her head at the end of the day. He just issued orders to convert Jayalalithaa’s Poes Garden residence into “Amma memorial”.
10.30 am: In case you missed, sources in the BJP tell Liz Matthew that the party wants stability in the AIADMK and that Pannerselvam continues as chief minister. They feel Sasikala comes with “too much baggage”. For more on this, click here.
10.25 am: Speaking to news agency ANI, Swamy adds: “The Governor’s (Vidyasagar Rao) behaviour is deplorable. Congress is not attacking him, maybe he is influenced by them.”
10.15 am: BJP MP Subramanian Swamy accuses Vidyasagar Rao of running away from the crisis: “He (Vidyasagar Rao) ran away to Delhi, then went to Mumbai. Yes he is also Governor of Maharashtra but crisis was in Tamil Nadu.”
10.10 am: Governor Vidyasagar Rao is expected to meet AIADMK general secretary Sasikala Natarajan and party MLAs at 3.30 pm at Raj Bhavan.
10.00 am: Governor C Vidyasagar Rao will be heading to Chennai at 1.30 pm.
Tamil Nadu Governor C Vidyasagar Rao, however, may take the matter to its logical end when he arrives in Chennai on Thursday afternoon. He will be arriving at Raj Bhavan at 3.30 pm, and is expected to meet Sasikala and the 131 party MLAs supporting her. The party plunged into crisis when OPS claimed he was forced to resign from the CM post, and accused Sasikala of trying to seize power despite former chief minister Jayalalithaa asking him to succeed her. ““When she was in the hospital I asked her, she (Jayalalithaa) asked me to take over as CM. I never wanted to be CM, they made me CM, then why insult me,” he said.