More leaders switch to Panneerselvam camp as Sasikala waits

AIADMK General Secretary VK Sasikala with caretaker Chief Minister O Panneerselvam.

Party MPs Rajendran and Lakshmanan extended support to Panneerselvam on Sunday afternoon. Earlier in the day AIADMK Lok Sabha MPs Jaisingh Thiyagaraj Natterjee (Tuticorin), Senguttuvan (Vellore) and R P Marutharaja (Perambalur) also extended their support to him.

The MPs called on Panneerselvam at his Greenways Road residence on Sunday morning and extended solidarity to him.

Four AIADMK Lok Sabha MPS — P R Sundaram, K Ashok Kumar, V Sathyabama and Vanaroja — had already switched over to the Chief Minister’s camp, pledging support to him. Rajya Sabha MP V Maitreyan is also in the Panneerselvam camp.

Panneerselvam at present also enjoys the support of seven MLAs, including himself. In the 235-member Tamil Nadu Assembly, AIADMK has 135 MLAs.

AIADMK Fisheries wing Joint Secretary K A Jeyapaul, a Minister in the 2011-16 Jayalalithaa cabinet and former Erode Mayor Mallika Paramasivan also joined the Panneerselvam camp.

AIADMK General Secretary VK Sasikala with governor C Vidyasagar Rao.

Meanwhile, leading the other camp, VK Sasikala, a close aide of former party chief and CM Jayalalithaa, played the woman card.

This is the second time that Sasikala went to meet her MLAs at the resort.

She also said,”AIADMK govt will continue for the next four-and-a-half years. I can say this as party General Secretary.”

On February 5, AIADMK General Secretary VK Sasikala was elected as the party’s Legislature Leader, a step towards her elevation as the Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu.

However, two days later, Panneerselvam had raised a revolt against her, alleging he was forced to step down.

AIADMK has 37 MPs in Lok Sabha and 13 in Rajya Sabha.

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