TN Governor to meet Palaniswami, swearing-in could take place this evening, say reports

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New Delhi | Updated: February 16, 2017 11:04:33 AM

Tamil Nadu Governor C Vidyasagar Rao may invite Edapaddi K Palaniswami by this afternoon to form government,

Tamil Nadu Governor C Vidyasagar Rao may invite Edapaddi K Palaniswami by this afternoon to form government. (PTI image)Tamil Nadu Governor C Vidyasagar Rao may invite Edapaddi K Palaniswami by this afternoon to form government. (PTI image)

Tamil Nadu Governor C Vidyasagar Rao will meet Edapaddi K Palaniswami at 11:30 AM, according to TV reports. The swearing-in could take place by this evening, reports say. All eyes are on the Governor over the swearing-in of the new Tamil Nadu Chief Minister after Edapaddi K Palaniswami and rival O Panneerselvam met him with claims of majority support of AIADMK MLAs. AIADMK legislature party leader Palaniswami, who had called on the Governor to stake claim for forming the government, met him again this evening, with his camp claiming support of 124 of the party’s 134 MLAs. Tamil Nadu has a 234-member legislative assembly. Notably, AIADMK chief V K Sasikala was sent to jail after she had surrendered before a trial court in Bengaluru, after the Supreme Court restored her conviction in the two-decades-old disproportionate assets case.

From an ordinary party member to the Leader of AIADMK legislature party, Edappadi K Palaniswami has come a long way.

Amid the bitter turf war between AIADMK general secretary V K Sasikala and acting chief minister O Panneerselvam, the 63-year-old loyalist of late J Jayalalithaa was elected Leader of AIADMK legislature party to facilitate his elevation as Tamil Nadu Chief Minister.

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“He was an unwavering loyalist of late Jayalalithaa, and chose to side with V K Sasikala after O Panneerselvam revolted against the interim general secretary,” a close aide of Palaniswami told PTI.

Born into an agriculture family, Palaniswami began his political career in AIADMK in 1974 as an ordinary party member.

Notably, Governor Rao, who was on Moday advised by Attorney General Mukul Rohatgi to convene a special session of the Legislative Assembly within a week for holding a composite floor test, is yet to take a call on whom to invite to form the government first or to go for a trial of strength in the assembly.

While O Panneerselvam has managed to win over 10 odd MPs and some MLAs, Sasikala has been able to rally the support of an overwhelming majority of AIADMK MLAs.

Though Panneerselvam does not have the explicit support of a very large number of MLAs, he has been insisting he would prove majority on the floor of the House if asked to do so.

It remains to be seen whether the Governor goes by the AG’s advice for a floor test by the two competing claimants for chief ministership or invites Palaniswami to form the government.

Meanwhile, yesterday, driving from Chennai straight to the court, 60-year-old Sasikala appeared before the special court judge Ashwathnarayana, as the Supreme Court refused to give her a breather rejecting her request for more time to surrender. Travelling in the same car that Jayalalithaa used, Sasikala had arrived at the central jail housed at Parappana Agrahara, close to Hosur on Karnataka-Tamil Nadu border, last evening amid tight security.

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