Tamil Nadu’s caretaker Chief Minister O Panneerselvam, who had revolted against AIADMK supremo and CM-designate Sasikala, today gained strength when two Lok Sabha MPs and a state Minister announced that they are joining the OPS camp to stop ‘Chinnamma’ from taking over the reins from late CM Jayalalithaa’s Man Friday.
The two members -- Ashok Kumar representing Krishnagiri constituency and Sundaram representing Namakkal -- visited Panneerselvam at his residence here. Earlier, sitting Rajya Sabha member V Maitreyan had joined Panneerselvam camp.
The two MPs have joined Panneerselvam a day after AIADMK spokesperson Vaigaichelvan said people joining Panneerselvam's camp are beyond their expiry date.
Speaking to reporters here, Ashok Kumar said other AIADMK MPs will also start joining hands with Panneerselvam. The AIADMK has 37 members in Lok Sabha.
State School Education Minister K Pandiarajan was the third leader who joined OPS camp today. He was also the the first state Minister to do so. Till Friday, Pandiarajan was with Sasikala and was defending her in a staunch manner.
Reacting to the development, the caretaker CM said, “I am confident all leaders who care about Tamil people will come and join us. Amma's soul is leading us, truth will win.”
Panneerselvam revolted against AIADMK general secretary Sasikala on Tuesday night alleging that he was forced to resign as Chief Minister to pave the way for Sasikala to occupy that chair. Subsequently around five legislators, one sitting MP, party old-timers, former legislators and others have started expressing their support to Panneerselvam.
Meanwhile, Sasikala has written a letter to acting Governor Vidyasagar Rao to seek appointment to prove majority.
On the other hand, a team of police and revenue officials this morning began inquiries with around 120 AIADMK MLAs staying at a luxurious resort at Koovathur near Mahabalipuiram. The team, led by additional deputy superintendents of police Tamilselvan and district revenue officer Ramachandran, reached the resort around 6.30 am, and began independent inquires with each and every MLA staying in the resort.
It is learnt that the officials were questioning them whether they have been confined at the resort or they have been staying there voluntarily. The officials also wanted the MLAs to furnish written declarations.
Yesterday, the Madras High Court had directed the police to file an affidavit on the status of ruling party AIADMK MLAs who are reportedly lodged at two different resorts outside Chennai.