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India: Madras High Court asks Tamil Nadu police to file affidavit on AIADMK MLAs kept at resort

Sasikala has dismissed E. Madhusudanan from the party for backing acting chief minister O. Panneerselvam. Photograph: (AFP)

DNA New Delhi, Delhi, India Feb 10, 2017, 06.02 AM (IST)

India's Madras High Court on Friday asked the Tamil Nadu police to file an affidavit on AIADMK MLAs lodged at a resort near the southern state's capital of Chennai.

A Habeas Corpus petition on Thursday had alleged illegal detention of 130-odd ruling AIADMK MLAs after the Tamil Nadu government said the legislators were staying at the MLAs' Hostel and "free to move around".

Meanwhile, the Supreme Court has refused to give an urgent hearing on a Public Interest Litigation seeking to restrain AIADMK leader VK Sasikala from being sworn in as Tamil Nadu chief minister till it decides the disproportionate assets case against her.

Sasikala has staked claim to form the government at a meeting with Governor C Vidyasagar Rao, who has not yet given any indication as to what course of action he will take.

Hours after caretaker Chief Minister O Panneerselvam visited Rao on Thursday, Sasikala called on the Governor at Raj Bhavan.The meeting with the governor lasted about 40 minutes. AIADMK claimed 131 MLAs had attended a meeting called by her in the wake of a rebellion by O Panneerselvam, who resigned as the chief minister on February 6 triggering another wave of political instability in the state.

Panneerselvam had called on Rao and after a brief meeting told reporters that "good things will happen and dharma will triumph."

He currently has the support of leaders like former Ministers KP Munusamy, Natham R Viswanathan, Rajya Sabha MP V Maithreyan and a few sitting MLAs, besides AIADMK presidium chairman E Madusudanan, who switched sides and is now backing Panneerselvam.

Pannerselvam has been maintaining that he was prepared to reconsider his resignation if people and the party cadres so desired. Though Sasikala appears to have the backing of an overwhelming majority of MLAs, public support for Panneerselvam was reported to have grown following his rebellion.

Before O Panneerselvam revolted against Sasikala claiming he was forced to resign, he had submitted his resignation to the governor on February 6 and was asked to continue in office till alternative arrangements were made.

Pannerselvam has been maintaining that he was prepared to reconsider his resignation if people and the party cadres so desired. Though Sasikala appears to have the backing of an overwhelming majority of MLAs, public support for Panneerselvam was reported to have grown following his rebellion.

(This report  first appeared in DNA)

 

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