AIADMK general secretary VK Sasikala on Saturday appeared to be on the backfoot in her fight against Tamil Nadu chief minister O Panneerselvam for control of the party.
State education minister Ma Foi Pandiarajan, former minister C Ponnaiyan and two Lok Sabha members, Krishnagiri MP Ashok Kumar and Namakkal MP PR Sundaram, joined the Panneerselvam camp. Sasikala, soon after, wrote a letter to governor C Vidyasagar Rao and urged him to meet her immediately. “Only to some extent we can be patient. After that we all together would do what needs to be done,” she said.
Panneerselvam and Sasikala are fighting a succession war after J Jayalalithaa, the party’s popular leader, died of illness in December. Panneerselvam resigned and made way for Sasikala to be the Tamil Nadu chief minister, but on Tuesday night dramatically revolted against her.
Here are live updates on the political crisis:
10:00pm: Tiruvannamalai parliamentarian R Vanaroja reaches Panneerselvam’s residence, extends support: ANI
8:42pm: Sasikala, after her return from Golden Bay resort, reiterates that the delay in her swearing-in was aimed at causing rift in the party. Sasikala told mediapersons that she was still waiting for a word from the Raj Bhavan. “We have waited for this long, we will approach this differently tomorrow,” she said.
8.40pm: AIADMK quotes VK Sasikala in tweets: “After meeting the party MLAs,I feel happy. All the party MLAS are fine and happy...The created time lag looks like it was intended to create a split in the party.”
8.30pm: OPS camp starts signature campaign to make Jayalalithaa’s Poes Gardens residence - Veda Nilayam a memorial for public.
7.40pm: Manithaneya Makkal Katchi leader Tameem Ansari back OPS.
7.30pm: Lok Sabha MP from Tiruppur V Sathyabhama meets acting CM Panneerselvam, extends her support.
6.36pm: Rajya Sabha MP and senior BJP leader Subramanian Swamy reaches Raj Bhavan to meet governor Ch Vidyasagar Rao.
6:28pm: After meeting Sasikala, Tamil Nadu MLA Rengasamy says it will be proper if she takes responsibility because that will help the party achieving its goal.
6.10pm: O Panneerselvam comes out of the Greenways Road residence along with supporters to address media. AIADMK founding member C Ponnaiyan, who joined the Panneerselvam camp earlier today, says Jayalalithaa wanted Panneerselvam to be chief minister when she was not well.
Ponnaiyan tells journalists: “Like Amma, Panneerselvam has always walked the path shown by party founder Anna Durai. He has always shown the same humility while serving Tamil Nadu. He was chosen by Jayalalithaa herself and so is the true successor of the throne.”
6.05pm: AIADMK MLA loyal to Sasikala, KA Sengottaiyan, refutes media reports that he will be the CM. “We will work for her till she becomes the CMat Golden Bay,” says KA Sengottaiyan.
5:59pm: MK Stalin, the DMK working president and the Opposition leader in the assembly, seeks a floor test to resolve the deadlock on government formation.Stalin tells mediapersons that he wants the installation of a stable and constitutionally valid government at the earliest.
5.20pm: According to AIADMK Twitter handle, “Chinnamma chaired a meeting with party MLAs on the next set of actions to be taken.”
VK Sasikala leaves the Kuvathur resort.
5.15pm: Sasikala meets AIADMK MLAs lodged at the Golden Bay Resort in Kuvathur . TV visuals show MLAs flocking around her and shouting slogans to pledge their support to her.
5:10 pm: Another senior AIADMK leader and former minister C Ponnaian joins Panneerselvam’s camp.
4:40pm: “Our number will be more than what it is today and it will land at 135,” says K Pandiarajan, member of the Panneerselvam camp. “Drama is coming to a close soon. I’m at least in touch with 20 of them (MLAs) so I don’t think phones are switched off,” he adds.
4:20pm: Police steps up security around Raj Bhavan.
4:10pm: Kuvattur vilagers allege AIADMK men for harassing them, obstructing movement of men, women and children
3:50pm: VK Sasikala reaches Golden Bay Resort in Kuvathur where MLAs are lodged.
3:40pm: V Maitreyan from the Panneerselvam camp says Sasikala has threatened Governor, demands action.
3:00pm: Sasikala is going to meet party MLAs soon: AIADMK
2.40pm: Sasikala leaves her Poes Garden in Chennai to visit late party leader J Jayalalithaa’s memorial at Marina Beach. She will then go to Koovathur resort where AIADMK MLAs are being kept. The Panneerselvam camp claims the MLAs are being held captive.
2.39pm: AIADMK Rajya Sabha MP V Maithreyan, who supports Panneerselvam, says the prime minister PM and home minister must “safeguard Tamil Nadu from forces which are all out against us and can take law into their hands”, reports news agency ANI.
2.37pm: We urge PM and HM to safeguard TN from forces which are all out against us and can take law and order into their hands: AIADMK MP V Maithreyan.
2.35pm: Chennai police commissioner orders probe into allegations that AIADMK MLAs are being held captive at the Golden Bay resort in Chennai to prevent being poached by Panneerselvam’s camp.
2:15pm: State education minister M Foi Pandiarajan joins Panneerselvam’s camp along with two Lok Sabha MPs, Krishnagiri MP Ashok Kumar and Namakkal MP PR Sundaram.