Delay in invitation by guv bid to split party, says Sasikala

More leaders switch over to OPS camp

Delay in invitation by guv bid to split party, says Sasikala
Irked over the ‘delay’ by Tamil Nadu Governor Vidyasagar Rao in swearing her in as chief minister, AIADMK general secretary V K Sasikala on Friday sought an appointment with him to parade MLAs in the Raj Bhavan.

This comes even as more party leaders switched loyalties to rival O Panneerselvam. In a meeting with her party MLAs, Sasikala said the delay in inviting her to form the government was an attempt to divide the AIADMK. “Tomorrow, we will launch our protest in a different way,” she said.

Rao is yet to respond to Sasikala’s request for an appointment and is keeping the suspense lingering. In a letter to the governor, Sasikala said, “It has been seven long days since Chief Minister O Panneerselvam submitted his resignation and the Governor accepting the same.

“Taking in account the urgency of the situation, I would like to seek an appointment with your excellency by today along with all MLAs who extended their support to me to discuss the further course of action to form the government,” she said.

Sasikala also expressed confidence that the governor “will act immediately” to save the “sovereignty of the Constitution, democracy and the interests of the state”.

The AIADMK chief met party MLAs who are staying at a resort on the outskirts of Chennai, and assured them that she would provide a good government, similar to that of the late chief minister J Jayalalithaa.

In a veiled warning, Sasikala said, “There is a limit to patience and whatever needs to be done, will be done unitedly.”
Sasikala’s meeting with the legislators comes soon after police and revenue officials conduced inquiries — following a high court order — at the beach resorts where the AIADMK legislators were staying. There had been allegations that the MLAs were being confined by the Sasikala camp.

New AIADMK presidium chairman K A Sengottaiyan said there was no change in the MLAs’ stand, supporting Sasikala for the top post. “Our first job is to make ‘Chinnamma’ the chief minister of Tamil Nadu,” he said.

Meanwhile, caretaker chief minister Panneerselvam's camp received a major boost with three AIADMK MPs and state’s Education Minister K Pandiarajan expressing their support to him.

Pandiarajan, who had accompanied Sasikala during her meeting with the  governor on Thursday, claimed that more AIADMK MLAs had evinced interest in supporting Panneerselvam.

Three MPs, from Krishnagiri, Namakal and Tirupur, also extended their support to Panneerselvam. AIADMK organisation leader and party spokesperson C Ponnaiyan also joined hands with him.

MP and senior BJP leader Subramanian Swamy, who has been reiterating that the governor should call Sasikala to form the government, met the governor.  However, he did not brief the media after the meeting. Raj Bhavan sources said it was a courtesy call.
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