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India: Two AIADMK MPs back Tamil Nadu's caretaker chief minister O Panneerselvam

Chief minister of the southern Indian state of Tamil Nadu O.Paneerselvam (C) gestures during a press conference at his home in Chennai on February 8,2017. Photograph: (AFP)

DNA New Delhi, Delhi, India Feb 11, 2017, 08.20 AM (IST)

As the power struggle within the All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazagham (AIADMK), the ruling party of the Southern Indian state of Tamil Nadu, continues to plague the political ambience in the region, The state's school education minister K Pandiarajan is likely to extend support to O Panneerselvam.

"Will surely listen to the collective voice of my voters and decide in a way to uphold the dignity of Amma's memory & unity of AIADMK !," he wrote on Twitter on Saturday.

Pandiarajan was one of the 10 ministers who had accompanied AIADM general secretary Sasikala to meet the state's governor.

Meanwhile, two MPs have extended support to Panneerselvam. Ashok Kumar from Krishnagiri and PR Sundaram from Namakkal have extended support to the caretaker chief minister, The Hindu reported.

Governor Vidyasagar Rao is still undecided on the issue as the feud in the ruling AIADMK escalated with VK Sasikala sacking party presidium chairman E Madusudanan who wrote to the Election Commission asking it to not recognise her as general secretary of the party.

The governor is said to be still evaluating legal opinion on Sasikala's claim to having an overwhelming support of party MLAs while the judgement of Supreme Court on disproportionate assets case against her is imminent next week.

Sending a strong message to her detractors, Sasikala sacked Madusudanan from the primary membership of the party, a day after he switched over to the rebel camp led by Panneerselvam, and appointed former minister KA Sengottaiyan in his place.

On his part, Panneerselvam asserted that his camp would not allow the party to go into hands of 'a family' and that the "dream of those to capture power" will end as a "day dream".

Meanwhile, Sasikala received a sigh of relief as Rao has clarified that he had not sent any report to the Home Ministry, which allegedly cited she was not qualified to stake the claim of being the chief minister of the state.

The office of the governor issued a press release that said, "Thiru Ch. Vidyasagar Rao, the governor of Tamil Nadu, has not sent any report either to the Ministry of Home Affairs or to the President of India, as reported in some of the media."

(This story first appeared in DNA)

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