The high drama in Tamil Nadu politics has yielded to an uneasy lull, with a steady stream of AIADMK top brass continuing to join Tamil Nadu Caretaker Chief Minister O Panneerselvam’s camp.
However, adding to the volatility is the legislature party meeting which V K Sasikala held at Golden Bay resort in the outskirts of Chennai, where her loyalists have been allegedly ‘held captive’. The MLAs have been asked to choose a new legislature party leader and Sasikala is likely to tell Governor Vidyasagar Rao that she will not be chief ministerial candidate, sources close to the development told CNN-News18. K A Sengottaiyan or Edapady Palanisamy are the frontrunners as the next leader. Both are Sasi loyalists, the source added. To know how Panneerselvam has been warding off the Sasikala manoeuvres, till now, read this report. Earlier, Sasikala wrote to Rao seeking an appointment to parade all the MLAs loyal to her and prove her majority.
Meanwhile, in a growing show of support for OPS, cabinet minister 'Ma Foi' Pandiarajan joined the Panneerselvam camp, today (11 February) along with MPs P R Sundaram and Ashok Kumar.
They met the chief minister at his residence and pledged their support, besides revealing that several MLAs at a resort, wished to leave the party general secretary Sasikala camp and join Panneerselvam.
Meanwhile, Rao has been busy over the week meeting the various stakeholders, with one including Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (DMK) leader M K Stalin, who met the governor and sought a “free and fair” floor test in the Assembly, to establish a government in the state.
A lot would depend on the Supreme Court verdict on the Jayalalithaa disproportionate assets case, in which Sasikala is an accused.
If she is found guilty, Sasikala will not be able hold public office or contest an election.
As security tightened around the governor’s official residence, Raj Bhavan, developments in the next week may end the current uncertainty in the state, which is experiencing a political thriller – from claims of MLAs being held hostage by Sasikala at a resort to the possible emergence of a third player, J Jayalalithaa’s niece, Deepa Jayakumar.
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