Ready to withdraw resignation, if required: Panneerselvam

Ready to withdraw resignation, if required: Panneerselvam
After raising a banner of revolt against V K Sasikala, Chief Minister O Panneerselvam today said he will withdraw his resignation, if required, and said his strength will come to be known in the state Assembly. Panneerselvam, sacked as AIADMK Treasurer by Sasikala last night following his outburst against her, insisted she was made General Secretary of the party under "extraordinary circumstances" following Jayalalithaa's death.

Election will be held soon to elect the "permanent" general secretary," he added. Striking an aggressive stance, Panneerselvam said his strength will come to be known in the state Assembly. "If required, I will withdraw my resignation," said Panneerselvam, who was flanked by Pandian, party's Rajya Sabha MP Maithreyan and others including VC Aarukutty.

The Tamil Nadu Chief Minister also made it know that he could not meet Jayalalithaa even once during her 75 days of hospitalisation and said he would recommend an inquiry commission under a sitting Supreme Court judge to probe the "doubts" surrounding the health condition and demise of the late leader. He said he will reach out to the people by going from street to street and welcomed the idea of working together with Jayalalithaa's niece Deepa Jayakumar, who is also opposed to Sasikala's elevation.

Panneerselvam also dismissed Sasikala's charge that DMK was behind his revolt against the party leadership and said she has no powers to sack him as Treasurer. "She should be asked to explain the basis of her charge. I was never cordial with DMK. A look back into the history will make it clear," he said. "There is no relationship at all between me and the DMK. Its only the human approach to reciprocate when some one smiles at you. That is the difference between animals and humans," he said.

He was apparently referring to Sasikala last night pointing to the exchange of pleasantries between him and DMK Working President M K Stalin, the Leader of the opposition in the Assembly, during the recent session. Panneerselvam also stuck to his charge that he was forced to resign from the post of Chief Minister, but declined to answer a question whether he would stake claim with the Governor to continue, saying "Just wait and watch."

"I don't want to go into it. I had already explained in detail at Amma's (Jayalalithaa) memorial the circumstances under which I was forced to resign," he said. Elaborating on his contention that Sasikala had no powers to sack him from the party post, Panneerselvam said already there were legal problems facing the party.

He said General Secretary was elected on a temporary basis in view of the extraordinary situation faced by the party (after Jayalalithaa's demise). "This is the party's norm. As per the party's constitution framed by founder M G Ramachandran at the time floating the AIADMK, legal sanction for the post will come only when all primary members elect the General Secretary. Such a General Secretary alone has the powers to appoint or remove party functionaries," he said.

On the attack against him by AIADMK leaders, including his cabinet colleagues, Panneerselvam said it was a "compulsion of time". "They can only speak like that when they are there (with Sasikala). They are in a state of mind of retaining their office for the next four years. They should act keeping in mind that they have to go back to the people," he said.

On the charge that he had betrayed the party high command, the senior leader said he resigned when he was forced only because he did not want the charge to fall on him. Recalling he had been appointed Chief Minister when Jayalalithaa 'faced challenges' (court conviction), Panneerselvam said he had always abided by the principles and ideals of party founder M G Ramachandran and Jayalalithaa. About allegations of BJP backing him, Panneerselvam said, "it was a lie."
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