AIADMK general secretary VK Sasikala met governor Ch Vidyasagar Rao on Thursday evening and staked claim to form the government in Tamil Nadu.
Sasikala also visited late former CM Jayalalithaa’s memorial at the Marina in Chennai before heading to the Raj Bhavan to meet the governor with a list of MLAs loyal to her.
Earlier in the day, chief minister O Panneerselvam also visited the governor, following which he said “dharma will win” in the ongoing power tussle in the Tamil Nadu’s ruling party. Both Sasikala and OPS, as he is popularly known, are claiming majority support in AIADMK.
Maharashtra governor Rao, who holds additional charge of Tamil Nadu, is said to be waiting for instructions from Delhi on the further course of action.
Here are the updates from Tamil Nadu as they happened:
9.06pm: Tamil Nadu governor C Vidyasagar Rao is understood to have sent a report to the Centre and the President. No decision has been taken by the governor yet on the political turmoil in the state.
OPS told Governor many of the signatures of MLAs supporting Sasikala were forged: sources @htTweets— Aditya Iyer (@Theadityaiyer) February 9, 2017
8.30pm: Acting CM O Panneerselvam meets supporters at his Greenways Road residence.
8.04pm: Sasikala leaves Raj Bhavan.
7.33pm: VK Sasikala meets governor Rao, stakes claim to form Tamil Nadu government.
தலைமைக் கழக செய்தி. pic.twitter.com/WLWmMXaXNw— AIADMK (@AIADMKOfficial) February 9, 2017
7.25pm: Sasikala reaches Raj Bhavan to meet Tamil Nadu governor Ch Vidyasagar Rao. Five senior AIADMK leaders accompany her.
7.15pm: Sasikala leaves Jayalalithaa memorial at Marina for Raj Bhavan to meet the Tamil Nadu governor.
7:00pm: Sasikala has brought with her the letter of support claiming majority, reports ANI. It will be submitted to the governor.
6:58pm: Sasikala reaches Jayalalithaa’s memorial near Marina Beach, pays floral tributes to the late chief minister.
6:46pm: Sasikala leaves Poes Garden. She will visit Jaya memorial at Marina before meeting the governor at Raj Bhavan.
5:30pm: Panneerselvam reaches his residence after meeting the governor. He will address the media shortly.
5:28pm: Sasikala expected to visit Jayalalithaa memorial at Marina before leaving for Raj Bhavan.
5:18pm: Panneerselvam leaves the Raj Bhavan after meeting governor Vidyasagar Rao.
4:54pm: AIADMK presidium chairman E Madhusudanan and leaders such as PH Pandian, KP Munusamy and Natham Viswanathan are at the Raj Bhavan with O Panneerselvam.
4:30pm: O Panneerselvam leaves his residence for Raj Bhavan, to meet Governor Vidyasagar Rao shortly, reports ANI.
4pm: Governor reaches Raj Bhavan in Chennai.
3:45pm: Another AIADMK lawmaker Vaigai Selvan says appointing Sasikala as the chief minister was Madhusudanan’s proposal. “It is a sad development that he has now turned to Panneerselvam.”
Madhusudanan, presidium chairman of AIADMK, deflected to the Panneerselvam camp on Thursday morning.
3:40pm: TV reports now say Panneerselvam will not be receiving the governor at the Chennai airport. OPS is slated to meet Rao at 5pm on Thursday.
Both Sasikala and OPS have been asked to meet the governor with 10 MLAs.
3:35pm: Tamil Nadu governor Vidyasagar Rao arrives in Chennai.
3:15pm: When questioned about Tamil Nadu’s political turmoil, home minister Rajnath Singh says the issue is AIADMK’s internal matter and the Centre has nothing to do with it: ANI
The Bhartiya Janata Party has been accused of having a hand in Panneerselvam’s revolt.
3:10pm: Sasikala camp claims they have the support of 135 MLAs and are confident the governor will swear in Chinnamma as the Tamil Nadu CM.
“The popular mood is with us... our aim is to get the governance in place,” says AIADMK leader Pandiarajan, adding that the MLAs have not been kept in captivity, instead they are being protected.
“MLAs have been staying at their convenience at the hotel. They have not been forced or compelled to do anything.”
2:50pm: Meeting between Sasikala and senior AIADMK leaders underway at Poes Garden to decide on the next course of action, reports ANI.
2:30pm: O Pannerselvam leaves for Chennai airport to receive Tamil Nadu governor Vidyasagar Rao.
The governor will meet Panneerselvam first at 5pm and his appointment with Sasikala is scheduled for 7.30pm.
2:10pm: “Madhusunanan will be the permanent general secretary of this party,” says Panneerselvam. E Madhusudanan is the chairman of AIADMK presidium, who worked with MGR and Jayalalithaa for over 50 years.
2:00pm: “Everyone that Amma said she shouldn’t be in touch with are now with Sasikala at Veda Nilayam (Poes Garden),” says Panneerselvam.
“We are fully prepared to respond to any allegations which the other camp will level against us. They should know we have information about them. ”
1:50pm: O Panneerselvam will receive governor Vidyasagar Rao at Chennai airport.
Panneerselvam, brandishing the letter, says Jayalalithaa told him that Sasikala was allowed to enter the house only because she apologised.
1:49pm: “Our senior leader Madhusudan was threatened and pressurised, even after that he stood alone to safeguard party. He helped the party grow and supported MGR throughout. We welcome him,” says Panneerselvam. “It is Sasikala who is doing dirty tricks to acquire the chair of CM, if she succeeds it will be a big blot on democracy.”
1:48pm: “In two days time, Sasikala’s story will be over,” says AIADMK leader PH Pandian.
1:41pm: V Maitreyan, AIADMK Rajya Sabha MP, says Panneerselvam is the “real heir of Amma.”
1:40pm: Senior AIADMK leader Madhusudan pledges support to Pannerselvam at his residence in Chennai, reports ANI. Madhusudan says there is something suspicious about Jayalalithaa’s death, say TV reports.
1:30pm: “On whose behest is Pannerselvam acting like this? DMK is behind him and the leader of opposition MK Stalin proved it,” says B Valarmathi, AIADMK leader.
1:15pm: Madras high court declines urgent hearing of Habeas Corpus petitions on alleged detention of AIADMK MLAs; government says MLAs are staying in the MLA’s hostel and are free to move, reports PTI.
1:05pm: TV reports say Panneerselvam tried to stop party MLAs from being herded by the Sasikala camp.
12:35pm: ANI tweets pictures of Sasikala’s supporters outside Poes Garden:
Chennai: VK Sasikala's supporters raise slogans in her support outside her Poes Garden residence pic.twitter.com/JPcEB8uuZd— ANI (@ANI_news) February 9, 2017
12:25pm: Tamil Nadu governor Vidyasagar Rao leaves from Mumbai’s Raj Bhavan for Chennai. Expected to arrive at 3:00pm. ANI now reports that VK Sasikala and AIADMK MLAs will meet him at 5 pm.
12:15pm: Chennai police commissioner S George likely to be transferred, sources tell HT.
11:50am: Supreme Court to hear plea by NGO Satta Panchayat Iyakkam against Sasikala being chief minister before disproportionate assets case verdict is due tomorrow at 2pm.
11.40am: PIL in Madras high court says MLAs are being held captive. Public prosecutor tells court,“MLAs are staying at MLA’s hostel.”
Tamil Nadu: AIADMK's MLAs (VK Sasikala supporters) lodged in a resort in Kalpakkam pic.twitter.com/oaimGnb4iu— ANI (@ANI_news) February 9, 2017
11.35am: Ex-AIADMK MLAs Poonamalle, Manimaran and MM Babu arrive at O Panneerselvam’s residence.
11:30am: AIADMK MPs are protesting in the well of the house in Rajya Sabha. In the Lok Sabha too, MPs raised slogans, demanding the swearing-in of VK Sasikala. AIADMK leader P Venugopal wanted to speak but speaker Sumitra Mahajan ignored him and called for question hour to begin.
11:25am: Panneerselvam is finalising plans to replace top police officers including DGP Rajendran & commissioner S George by Thursday evening.
11:15am: O Panneerselvam to issue orders to make Poes Garden residence Jayalalithaa’s memorial.
11:00am: Sasikala sacks Puducherry former MLA Om Sakthi Sekar from AIADMK, reports ANI.
10.30am: O Panneerselvam’s writing to the banks to not allow transactions without his authorisation may not have any practical impact on the AIADMK, a senior party leader told IANS. He said there were other authorised persons to carry out banking transactions in the party.
10:00am: Clarifying their position in the upheaval in the state, the DMK said Pannerselvam and Stalin share a very ‘political relationship’.
“Pannerselvam and Stalin sit on opposite sides. They share a very political relationship. If the government does good, we appreciate it. If it does something bad, we criticise it. It’s a normal thing,” DMK leader TKS Elangovan told ANI. He also said it’s not completely wrong if the Congress blames the BJP.
9:00am: Tamil Nadu government revokes suspension of former state chief secretary Gnanadesikan and geology and mines commissioner Atul Anand, reports ANI.
Gnanadesikan was suspended last year in August from service on charges of alleged irregularities and for certain decisions on power tenders and contracts during his tenure. Anand was suspended after being accused of having links in beach sand mining.
The suspension of both the senior bureaucrats was issued by late chief minister J Jayalalithaa after a high-level meeting last year.
(With agency inputs)