AIADMK leadership crisis: Police contingent arrives at resort, Pro-Sasikala MLAs likely to be forced out
Supreme Court has found Sasikala guilty in the disproportionate assets case Photograph: (AFP)
A police contingent arrived at Golden Bay resort where pro-Sasikala MLAs are staying, the legislators may be forced out as Tamil Nadu was put on high alert after India's Supreme Court found AIADMK general secretary VK Sasikala guilty in the disproportionate assets case.
Media reports said police have disconnected power supply in the Golden Bay resort at Koovathur after the MLAs refused to vacate the resort.
In another development that is set to further boost the O Panneerselvam camp, Deepa Jayakumar, Jayalalithaa's niece, has officialy entered politics and extended her support to the caretaker chief minister. Both of them visited the memorial of the former chief minister, Jayalalithaa, and paid their truibutes to her.
Meanwhile, Tamil Nadu Governor C Vidyasagar Rao met AIADMK legislature party leader Edapadi K.Palanisamy in Raj Bhawan this evening, soon after AIADMK MP and Panneerselvam supporter V Maitreyan set out to meet Governor Vidyasagar Rao at Raj Bhavan as the political climate in Tamil Nadu reached boiling point.
Earlier, in a fast turn of events, Sasikala called an emergency meeting at a resort outside Chennai where party MLAs have been stationed for a week and announced that Palaniswami, a five-time MLA, would be the new legislature party head. Sasikala also expelled interim chief minister O Panneerselvam from the party's primary membership along with him she also expelled 19 other "rebel" leaders from the party. The sacked leaders' list include: P H Pandian, C Ponnaiyan, Natham R Viswanathan, K P Munusamy, P Mohan, K A Jayapaul, K P Rajendra Prasad, Parithi Ilamvazhuthi.
E Ponnusamy, P H Manoj Pandian, J C D Prabhakar, Thavasi, S K Selvam, K Ayyappan, Muthuselvi, MGR, K A K Mukil, V Neelakandan and M Muthuramalingam were also expelled from the party by Sasikala.
Palaniswami, a known Sasikala loyalist, is now expected take up the fight against Panneerselvam, his first critical task would be to keep the party MLAs together, already several MLAs have crossed over to the Panneerselvam camp.
Palaniswami was quick to assert his leadership declaring he had sent a letter to the Governor of Tamil Nadu Vidyasagar Rao to stake claim to form the government. However, the big question is what will Panneerselvam do next?
Also, there were reports that Sasikala would surrender this evening, a move which is being keenly watched by the Panneerselvam camp who are counting on poaching even more MLAs from Sasikala's camp and cobble together a working majority. However, she has dodged the surrender citing a legal loophole, all eyes will be on her tomorrow to surrender.
Sasikala was ordered to surrender immediately to the authorities by the Supreme Court and serve out the remainder of her four-year jail term. Sasikala has already served six months in jail, with three years and six months still left to serve in prison. The court also ordered her to pay Rs 10 crore as a fine.
(WION with agency inputs)