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Governor in Chennai, decision on TN CM soon

T.E. Raja Simhan Chennai | Updated on January 12, 2018

AIADMK General Secretary VK Sasikala at former Chief Minister CN Annadurai’s memorial in Chennai on Thursday, ahead of her meeting with Governor Ch Vidyasagar Rao - Photo: B Jothi Ramalingam

AIADMK general secretary VK Sasikala coming out of Raj Bhavan after meeting acting governor of Tamil Nadu Vidyasagar Rao - Photo by T.E. Raja Simhan

OPS, Sasikala call on Vidyasagar Rao



The answer to who will take over as Tamil Nadu’s next Chief Minister can soon be expected, with both contenders — O Panneerselvam and VK Sasikala — meeting Governor Ch Vidyasagar Rao on Thursday.

“I have explained to the Governor in detail the developments in Tamil Nadu. Good things will happen, justice will prevail,” Panneerselvam, the caretaker Chief Minister, told journalists after a 20-minute meeting with Rao.

OPS, as Panneerselvam is known, is involved in a battle with Sasikala, the General Secretary of his party, the AIADMK, for the post of Chief Minister.

On Sunday, Sasikala was unanimously elected Legislature Party leader by the AIADMK’s legislators. However, on Tuesday, OPS claimed he was coerced into submitting his resignation. The Governor has accepted his resignation but has asked him to continue in office till a successor takes over.

Sasikala met the Governor later in the evening for about 30 minutes. She submitted a list of legislators who back her. C Ponnaiyan, a senior leader among them, said that while nothing was certain at the moment, a decision could be expected soon.

On Wednesday, the AIADMK chief claimed the support of about 130 of the 134 AIADMK MLAs in the Assembly. She has kept them sequestered at a resort to Chennai’s south.

OPS for now has half-a-dozen legislators openly on his side, apart from senior party leaders including Presidium Chairman E Madhusudanan, the second-in-command after the General Secretary, and PH Pandian, a founder member of the AIADMK.

The caretaker CM claims he can prove his majority on the floor of the House once all the AIADMK MLAs are allowed to vote. Going by the turnout of party cadres, OPS enjoys popular support within the party.

A critical factor looming over Sasikala’s bid for power is a Supreme Court verdict on a corruption case against her, which is expected in a matter of days. Also, there is popular resentment against her assuming office as she is perceived as a behind-the-scenes operator who had exploited her three-decade-long association with late Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa.

Published on February 09, 2017

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