Sasikala has dismissed E. Madhusudanan from the party for backing acting chief minister O. Panneerselvam. Photograph: (AFP)
Interim chief minister of Tamil Nadu O Panneerselvam has openly challenged Sasikala's leadership of AIADMK
The AIADMK leadership crisis continues to brew with interim chief minister of Tamil Nadu O Panneerselvam hitting out at party general secretary Sasikala declaring he will not allow the party to become a "family property".
We will not let Jayalalithaa's sacrifice to go waste, O Panneerselvam told reporters deepening the AIADMK leadership crisis.
He challenged Sasikala's leadership declaring "one who is popular amongst people should become the CM".
Panneerselvam's reaction comes even as a section of AIADMK MLAs owing allegiance to party general secretary V K Sasikala dismissed media reports and allegations from the Panneerselvam camp that they were being "detained" at a resort, and asserted that they were "free".
V C Arukutty, MLA from Kavundampalayam in Coimbatore and a supporter of revolting chief minister O Panneerselvam, alleged that the MLAs were "detained" and "not reachable."
"The MLAs are not reachable. They have been detained. They are legislators elected by people, so release them. Let them go and meet people," he told reporters here.
However, the MLAs owing allegiance to Sasikala rejected the allegations.
"We are free. We are keenly awaiting governor's invitation to Sasikala to form the government. We are not children to be detained or abducted as is being reported in a section of media," Perundurai MLA ND Venkadachalam said.
Some of the MLAs, including former ministers like himself, were made to stay put at one place to move swiftly in case there was a need in the wake of an invitation from the Governor, he told a TV channel.
Earlier, Sasikala dismissed presidium chairman E. Madhusudanan from the party for backing acting chief minister O. Panneerselvam.
Sasikala said in a statement that Madhusudanan had violated the party's principles and brought disrepute to it and so was being ousted from the party post and the AIADMK's primary membership.
He's an absent-minded person, he doesn't know what he's speaking now and what he'll speak later: AIADMK's Kalairajan on E Madhusudan pic.twitter.com/m0U7OkkMvC— ANI (@ANI_news) February 10, 2017
Meanwhile, the Supreme Court has refused to give an urgent hearing on a PIL seeking to restrain AIADMK leader V K Sasikala from being sworn-in as Tamil Nadu chief minister till it decides the disproportionate assets case against her.
"Sorry. Declined," a bench comprising chief justice J S Khehar and justices N V Ramana and D Y Chandrachud said when the lawyer sought urgent listing and hearing.
Advocate G S Mani, who is representing Chennai-resident Senthil Kumar, General Secretary of NGO Satta Panchayat Iyakkam, pleaded that the matter be heard on urgent basis.
The PIL was filed on February 6 seeking a stay on the swearing-in of Sasikala as Tamil Nadu chief minister as there was speculation that she would be taking the oath the next day.
The petitioner has sought a restrain on her swearing-in after an apex court bench had on February 6 said that it would pronounce within a week the judgement in a 19-year-old disproportionate assets case in which Sasikala and late chief minister J Jayalalithaa were accused.
(WION with agency inputs)