Ahead of AIADMK General Secretary and CM-designate VK Sasikala's meeting with Tamil Nadu Governor Vidyasagar Rao today evening, caretaker Chief Minister O Panneerselvam today took his rebellion a step further naming Sasikala and accusing her of 'lying' and 'betraying Amma'.
"Sasikala is lying when she says she never betrayed Amma (Jayalalithaa)," Panneerselvam, the caretaker CM of Tamil Nadu said today.
He further alleged that it was Sasikala who was playing dirty tricks to acquire the chair of CM, and her success would be a big blot on democracy.
Panneerselvam also claimed that senior AIADMK leader Madhusudan was threatened and pressurised, despite the fact that he stood alone to safeguard the party.
He also said that when Jayalalithaa was admitted in the hospital, Sasikala told him after 24 days that she was fine.
Madhusudan, along with AIADMK Rajya Sabha MP V. Mitreyan, visited Panneerselvam at his residence, to offer him their support.
Pannerselvam will meet Governor C Vidyasagar Rao, who arrived in Chennai today afternoon, at 5 pm in Raj Bhavan while Sasikala have an appointmnt for meeting at 7 pm.
After Panneerselvam's midnight rebellion, Sasikala called a meeting of party MLAs at the AIADMK headquarters in a show of strength on Wednesday morning and later herded them in buses to undisclosed destination in a bid to keep the flock together.
As per reports, there are 120 MLAs out of 134 party legislators in the state Assembly are with Sasikala.
Panneerselvam, on the other hand, is banking on the party cadre for support.
Tamil Nadu DGP TK Rajendran and state chief secretary Girija Vaidyanathan met Panneerselvam at his residence, ANI reported.
Chennai: Tamil Nadu DGP TK Rajendran met #Paneerselvam at his residence— ANI (@ANI) February 9, 2017
The state has been in turmoil after Panneerselvam's resignation and subsequent claim that he was humiliated and forced to resign. Sasikala has also alleged that her swearing-in as Chief Minister was being deliberately delayed by Governor Rao.
However, ministers and MLAs who were to leave for New Delhi to seek President Pranab Mukherjee’s intervention to end the crisis, have been told to drop their plan at the eleventh hour after they were informed that the Governor will be arriving here on Thursday afternoon.
Governor Rao had kept away from Chennai for the last three days triggering speculation whether he had reservations on swearing-in Sasikala.
It was also believed that the Governor wanted to wait till the verdict of the Supreme Court, expected next week, on whether Sasikala, a close aide of late CM Jayalalithaa, was guilty of corruption charges under the Prevention of Corruption Act, in the 21-year-old Rs 66 crore disproportionate assets case.
A report in The Indian Express had yesterday suggested that the move by the Governor -- of keeping away from Tamil Nadu -- had the tacit support of the central government.
Hours after Chief Minister O Panneerselvam made sensational allegations against Sasikala, she claimed her rival camp playing into the hands of the opposition.
On the other hand, OPS reiterated his stand, saying that he was subjected to humiliation and was forced to resign. He favoured an inquiry panel led by a Supreme Court judge to look into the circumstances leading to late Jayalalithaa's hospitalization and the line of treatment meted out to her while Sasikala said any such inquiry would prove her care for the departed leader.
According to AIADMK sources, Panneerselvam had proposed her name and the other MLAs seconded it to show unanimity in the party. Sasikala belongs to the Thevar community, which has a dominant say in the AIADMK.
Interestingly, both Sasikala and other AIADMK leaders like Lok Sabha deputy speaker M Thambidurai have exonerated the Centre from the charge of influencing OPS. They assert the plot was scripted by none other than Stalin and the DMK.