Governor Rao to meet Panneerselvam first, then Sasikala

Governor Rao to meet Panneerselvam first, then Sasikala
Governor Ch Vidyasagar Rao has invited warring AIADMK General Secretary V K Sasikala and Tamil Nadu Chief Minister O Panneerselvam for meeting him separately.

Rao, holding charge of Tamil Nadu in addition to Maharashtra, arrived from Mumbai late this afternoon. He had kept away from Chennai for the last three days amid a bitter war of words between Sasikala and Panneerselvam, who had revolted against the AIADMK chief.

He is here to hold talks to end the political crisis in the state.Panneerselvam has been given an appointment at 5 pm, while the Sasikala camp will meet the Governor at 7.30 pm. Panneerselvam has said he was forced to step down, paving the way for Sasikala's elevation to the top post, and said he would withdraw his resignation if the situation arose.

Sasikala, who was on Sunday elected the leader of the AIADMK legislature party, is likely to stake claim for forming government while Panneerselvam is expected to present his case before the Governor. PTI SA VIJ VS ZMN 02091639

10 senior ministers are going to go with Chinnamma (Sasikala). All the MLAs are ready to go. It is, however, the decision of the Governor (to meet or not to meet all the legislators). The Governor is very positive, he has not raised any apprehensions," School Education Minister K Pandiarajan said.

"We have an official appointment at 7.30 PM. We will be staking our claim. There are no problems. There is no need to raise any problems," he told reporters here. Sources in Panneerselvam's camp said the Chief Minister is scheduled to meet the governor at 5 PM today and "apprise" him of the prevailing situation in Tamil Nadu.

Pandiarajan, answering questions on the rebellion of Panneerselvam, said it was wrong to say that the "outgoing" Chief Minister was forced to resign from his post. "There was no pressure. There is no truth in it. Talking of coercion is laughable," he said.

He added, "Panneerselvam was all along with us when all the decisions were taken. No decision was taken by overruling him. Now, if he wants to take a different stand, it is his choice." He said it was Panneerselvam who had proposed Sasikala's name for the post of party general secretary.

"To claim now that her appointment was not as per law is unadulterated opportunism... it is the height of hypocrisy," he said, adding all the general council members, including Panneerselvam, unanimously chose her. AIADMK spokesperson C R Saraswathi had yesterday claimed that the ruling party has the support of 131 party legislators and they had attended the meeting chaired by Sasikala to discuss the fallout of the revolt by Panneeselvam.

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