Caretaker Tamil Nadu Chief Minister O Panneerselvam took a high moral stand today and underlined his loyalty to the late Jayalalithaa and AIADMK party in an effort to checkmate rival Sasikala, who is the party chief, by saying that his long innings besides the late supremo prove his credentials and that he would not tolerate anyone questioning that aspect of his life. He said, “There has been no instance where O Panneerselvam has betrayed the party, while remaining in power or opposition.” That there will be no going back on his ‘rebellion’ was also made clear by Panneerselvam when he held out his hand of friendship to Jayalalithaa’s niece, who has been targeting Sasikala for not allowing her to meet her aunt through her 75-day stay at hospital, by saying that “I will accept Deepa’s support, if offered.”
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That he may even attack Sasikala’s position at the top of the party too was hinted at by Panneerselvam when he said, “Natarajan remains interim General secretary of AIADMK.” However, as far as his position as chief minister is concerned, Panneerselvam indicated that the only way to solve the Tamil Nadu political crisis would have to take the route of the Legislative assembly and not the party fora. At his residence in Chennai today Panneerselvam said, “I will prove my strength in the assembly.”
Panneerselvam also indicated that he would be approaching the people of Tamil Nadu directly for their support by hinting he may go on a padyatra of sorts. He said, “Will meet Tamil Nadu people, in each and every city to make my point.”
On Tuesday night Panneerselvam made a dramatic statement that he was forced to resign as the Chief Minister.