Stunned silence enveloped the Golden Bay resort on Tuesday, where AIADMK general secretary VK Sasikala spent the night with her party MLAs, after the Supreme Court sent her back to prison in the disproportionate assets case.
Rapid Action Force personnel reached the resort amid confusion whether she would be taken into custody or be required to surrender in court immediately.
Tamil Nadu: A unit of Tamil Nadu Police with senior officials enter Golden Bay Resort in Kovathur pic.twitter.com/XEeBS72ywC— ANI (@ANI_news) February 14, 2017
Chief minister O Panneerselvam tweeted that Sasikala must surrender immediately, even as the atmosphere outside his residence turned ecstatic amid expectations that most AIADMK MLAs would soon jump ship. One more MLA, Semmalai, had joined the OPS camp just half an hour before the apex court verdict was delivered.
Sasikala’s political innings lasted very short – just about 45 days – since she became the party’s general secretary on January 5. She cannot contest the elections for six years now, and is faced with the possibility of party MLAs deserting her.
SS Saravanan, an MLA who escaped from the Golden Bay resort on Monday night, had asserted that “all MLAs would come to OPS”.
Celebrations erupted at Panneerselvam’s residence, with crackers being burst and a giant poster in his now-famous pose – sitting crossed legged in prayer before Amma’s memorial last Sunday – being displayed prominently. Inside, the caretaker chief minister and his supporters plotted the future course of action, and ways to get more MLAs.
At Kuvathur, Sasikala reportedly broke down and blamed the BJP for her plight. However, the fight is not over yet, as Sasikala is likely to activate her ‘plan B’ and nominate senior minister Edapaddi Palaniswamy as the new legislative party leader.
“Ultimately, Dharma will win,” Sasikala is reported to have said. “Judgment has been forced on us.”
The AIADMK’s official twitter handle, for its part, tweeted: “Amma’s virtue disturbed by traitors.”