All India Anna DMK (AIADMK) General Secretary V.K. Sasikala, who is waiting to take over as Tamil Nadu Chief Minister, is expected to meet Governor C. Vidyasagar Rao at 5 pm today, after he lands in Chennai. However, the man Sasikala is to replace, O. Panneerselvam, is underscoring that he won’t give up a fight and he too is expected to meet the Governor.
Though Sasikala has complete support within their party, Panneerselvam says that many legislators are privately in touch with him and will support him if he is allowed to take a trust vote. To minimise his influence or reach, as also that of political rivals like the DMK, Sasikala has strategically placed all but three of her party’s legislators in hotels and resorts. The idea is to keep them sequestered till she’s given the chance to prove to the Governor that they back her.
Sasikala is pulling all stops to keep the party flock intact ahead of highly anticipated floor test in the TN Assembly. Sasikala described Panneerselvam’s rebellion as a “betrayal” and called him a “liar”. She also accused him of colluding with DMK Working President M.K. Stalin to “destroy” the party. The MLAs supporting Sasikala have been accommodated in a resort in the East Coast Road. They will come out only after the Governor reaches Chennai at 3 pm today.
Another source says that Sasikala is running short of around 6 to 8 MLAs for which she is targeting a few Congress MLAs for support. She needs the support of 117 MLAs to prove her majority.
POES GARDEN A MEMORIAL?
Meanwhile, opening a new front in his ongoing war with Sasikala, Panneerselvam is expected to issue an order today to convert Jayalalithaa’s iconic Poes Garden residence into a Memorial. The order, if passed, will be a new bone of contention between Panneerselvam and Sasikala since the latter also resides at the Poes Garden house. Many also speculate she has inherited the property, though there is no clarity on any legal will left behind by Jayalalithaa. Poes Garden, situated on the Cathedral Road in the posh Teynampet area of capital Chennai, was Jayalalithaa’s home for 35 years.