Govt says MLAs not forced to stay at resorts, files affidavit

Govt says MLAs not forced to stay at resorts, files affidavit

Amid allegations that several AIADMK MLAs were forced to stay at two resorts, the Tamil Nadu government prosecutor on Monday told the Madras High Court that the legislators had not complained that they were illegally detained.

When two habeas corpus petitions filed by the counsel for two legislators came up for hearing before a Division Bench, comprising Justices M Jayachandren and T Mathivanan, public prosecutor R Rajarathinam submitted that 119 MLAs were staying at two resorts.
They have said they were staying there on their own will, he told the court.

AIADMK general secretary V K Sasikala on Sunday said  that 129 legislators were housed at the resorts. Her camp says that they support her in her bid for power in Tamil Nadu, against Chief Minister O Panneerselvam.

Rajarathinam’s submission was based on a report filed by the superintendent of police, Kancheepuram district, and the revenue authorities, who personally visited the resorts. He also submitted the statements of the two MLAs in question before the court in a sealed cover.

If the court passed the orders, “we are prepared to submit the statements of all the MLAs”, the prosecution said. However, the counsel for one of the MLAs contended that the person concerned should be traced and produced before the court on a habeas corpus plea, and the oral statement should not be accepted.

The prosecution's submission came against the backdrop of two petitions alleging that the AIADMK MLAs were illegally detained and were not even allowed to use their mobile phones.

After recording the submissions from both sides, the court reserved its order.

With no word from Raj Bhavan on her stake to form the government as yet, Sasikala visited the two resorts for the third consecutive day to meet her party MLAs and boost their spirits.

Panneerselvam went to the secretariat in the afternoon and held discussions with officials – his first visit there after he resigned and was asked by the governor to continue in office till alternative arrangements were made.

Panneerselvam had quit as the chief minister to make way for Sasikala, but later rebelled against her.

‘I persuaded Jaya to take charge’
AIADMK general secretary V K Sasikala on Monday claimed that the late chief minister J Jayalalithaa was not interested in politics after the demise of party founder M G Ramachandran (MGR), DHNS reports from Chennai.

Claiming that it was she who had encouraged Jayalalithaa to take over to continue the work of MGR and build the party, Sasikala said, “I supported and stood with her  in her tough times.”

“I was largely involved with Amma in party activities and alliance discussions. I could have asked her for a post whenever I wanted, but I did not do that,” she said. Justifying her interest to become the chief minister, Sasikala said, “I was not happy with the way Panneerselvam conducted himself in the Assembly.”

Stating that he was moving too close with the DMK, Sasikala said, “I decided to step in and become the chief minister to ensure the continuance of good governance by Amma.”

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