AIADMK general secretary Sasikala broke down once again during her meeting with the AIADMK MLAs at the Golden Bay Resort on Monday, a day before Supreme Court will decide on her disproportionate assets case.
The judgement scheduled for Tuesday 10.30am will not only decide the fate of Sasikala, but also AIADMK and Tamil Nadu, the state which has not seen stability in leadership since former chief minister J Jayalalithaa was hospitalised in September.
Acting chief minister O Panneerselvam on Tuesday got another shot in the arm with more lawmakers joining his side, although Sasikala’s camp expressed positivity too.
Here are the highlights from Tamil Nadu on Feb 13:
10.20pm: Actor and choreographer Raghava Lawrence extends support to O Panneerselvam.
8.50pm: On the Supreme Court verdict in DA case, Sasikala says, “Everything will be good for me.”
8.45pm: AIADMK’s south Madurai MLA SS Saravanan and Lok Sabha MP from Madurai R Gopalakrishnan extend support to O Panneerselvam.
7.52pm: “I have brought my clothes with me (to the resort). I am staying with the MLAs,” Sasikala says at the Golden Bay resort.
Talking about the opposition party, Sasikala says, “DMK is an expert in calculating things. When MGR passed away they did the same thing.”
7.40pm: After meeting party MLAs at Golden Bay resort in Kuvathur, VK Sasikala breaks down while addressing the party MLAs. Sasikala says, “Amma still alive in our hearts. Since I’ve always been with her, people asked me to take care of them like Amma did.”
“When I was coming here (to the resort), people called me to a hut. When I went there, I saw Amma’s photo there.Thats where she lives, in their hearts,” Sasikala tells party workers.
Justice PC Ghose and AK Roy to assemble tomorrow at 10:30 to deliver the verdict in the case involving Sasikala @htTweets— bhadra sinha (@BhadraSinha) February 13, 2017
6.35pm: "The governor should not waste any more time. Whoever has the majority in the house must form a government,” says MK Stalin.
“Is the governor listening to the BJP and delaying procedure?” MK Stalin asks.
6.25pm: “We will only comment on the disproportionate assets case once the Supreme Court verdict is out; can’t comment right now,” says MK Stalin.
The SC is expected to pronounce its verdict in the disproportionate assets case against VK Sasikala this week.
There were reports of the DMK leader earlier extending support to O Panneerselvam externally, but later denied any such move.
“We are not supporting any faction, AIADMK is our opponent and we oppose them as a whole,” clarifies Stalin.
6.20pm: MK Stalin, leader of the opposition and DMK working president, says “Many development works in the state have been stagnated due to the ongoing power struggle, most important issues are of drinking water, farmer suicides and drought situation.
“The caretaker chief minister O Panneerselvam has not bothered about any of the issues, only focused on keeping his seat,” he adds.
“The governor should immediately take steps to establish a stable government in the state,” adds Stalin.
6.05pm: Sasikala visits Golden Bay Resorts in Kuvathur to meet the MLAs camping at the resort, her third visit in three days.
AG Mukul Rohatgi gives opinion to TN governor. Asks him to hold the floor test within a week, citing SC judgement @htTweets— bhadra sinha (@BhadraSinha) February 13, 2017
5:14pm: Sasikala says she doesn’t think that the delay in her swearing-in is because of the pending DA case verdict.
5.07pm: DMK starts its strategy meeting under the leadership of party working president MK Stalin at DMK headquarters
4.20pm: Former state Congress chief EVKS Elangovan tells media Sasikala is a female gangster, people hate her.
4.17pm: Sasikala leaves her Poes Garden residence to visit Golden Bay resort where MLAs loyal to her are staying for the third straight day.
Media personnel ask police why they were not acting against private persons near the resort and preventing jurnos frm standing on public rd— K V Lakshmana (@kvlakshman) February 13, 2017
3:42pm: Media once again protests as journalists are stopped from entering Golden Bay resort. Police have no answers when asked why permission was needed.
3:37pm: An ambulance and two vehicles rush to Kuvathur Golden Bay, where AIADMK MLAs have been camping, resort around 2 am. No details available on whether someone has been hospitalised.
2:59pm: FIR filed against ex-AIADMK MLA Kalairajan for allegedly threatening to “chop off” O Panneerselvam’s hands.
"However many men come from the Oppn, I'll be the woman to face them. As long as cadre is there, no one can harm me," Sasikala @htTweets— Aditya Iyer (@Theadityaiyer) February 13, 2017
2:23pm: “I’m ready to give my life for this government... We’re not afraid of anything,” says Sasikala.
"I used to read letters sent by cadres & told Amma of people's issues. I never thought of becoming CM when Amma died," Sasikala @htTweets— Aditya Iyer (@Theadityaiyer) February 13, 2017
2:18pm: “When MGR died, she (Jayalalithaa) said she didn’t want to join politics. I told her should for MGR. I grew her interest in politics,” says Sasikala.
2:15pm: “I was by Amma’s side for 33 years. There’s no part of Tamil Nadu she didn’t go. She made sure we now have 1.5 crore cadres,” says Sasikala.
2:08pm: “OPS has shown he was never loyal to the party. While I was taking care of Amma’s final rites, many were scheming,” says AIADMK’s Sasikala amid a bitter turf war in the party.
2:05pm: “When Amma passed away, I came to know about conspiracy being hatched to divide the party,” says Sasikala.
2:04pm: “People are trying to divide the organisation, I won’t let this happen,” says Sasikala.
1:55pm: Tamil Nadu CM Panneerselvam holds discussions with chief secretary, home secretary and top officials at the state secretariat.
1:50pm: Madras HC observes if MLAs are there of their free will, the court cannot do anything about it. Case adjourned.
1:45pm: Kancheepuram police submit report to the Madras high court, says 119 AIADMK MLAs at Golden Bay resort of their free will.
1:28pm: AIADMK spokesperson CR Saraswathi says delay in governor inviting Sasikala to form government may lead to horse trading. She hopes the governor will settle the matter soon.
PIL filed in Supreme Court asking the Tamil Nadu Governor to invite VK Sasikala to form the government within 24 hours; AIADMK— ANI (@ANI_news) February 13, 2017
1:10pm: Chief minister O Panneerselvam reaches the state secretariat.
Former AIADMK MLA Kalairajan threatens to cut off hands of chief minister O Panneerselvam. But he later withdrew the remarks— K V Lakshmana (@kvlakshman) February 13, 2017
12:39pm:Police tell Madras high court that MLAs loyal to Sasikala are not being kept against their will inside a seaside resort near Mahabalipuram, submit statements of two MLAs
12:29pm: AIADMK spokesperson Vadiyaselvan tells media that Sasikala was hoping for a call from governor today.
12:19pm: DMK working president MK Stalin arrives at the secretariat along with Duraimurugan.
12:15pm: I am not scared of anyone, I will succeed: AIADMK general secretary Sasikala amid turf war with Panneerselvam.
No one can create any hurdles.Iam not scared of anyone.I will succeed.#Chinnamma4CM— AIADMK (@AIADMKOfficial) February 13, 2017
12 noon: A puja is taking place at Panneerselvam’s residence. There are reports that some women councillors have extended support to him. Sas
11:00am: Panneerselvam to go to the state secretariat for the first time since he resigned. Reports say large number of people gathering outside his house.
10:11am: AIADMK official handle says Sasikala gets a warm welcome at Kuvathoor, where the Golden Bay resort is. MLAs loyal to Sasikala are holed up there.
And here’s what happened over the weekend.
A group of 120-plus AIAMDK legislators “held” in a private resort near Chennai should be released to go to their constituencies and sense the public mood, acting CM O Panneerselvam has said.
His comments on Sunday came ahead of his first scheduled visit to the state secretariat since the state was plunged in a political crisis that has pit Panneerselvam against party general secretary VK Sasikala with the CM’s chair at stake.
Panneerselvam also alleged that by shedding crocodile tears, Sasikala kept the MLAs on her side.
“Let her release them...so that they can go to their respective constituencies and meet the people and take a good decision,” he told reporters in Chennai.
Stressing that the Tamil people were well aware of the current political scenario, he said, “Not only in India, people across the globe are monitoring the situation.”
Asserting that he was always a staunch loyalist of former chief minister J Jayalalithaa, Panneerselvam said, “In the last 20 years not even once has Amma criticised me.”
He said Deepak and Deepa, the niece of late leader J Jayalalithaa, were the only blood relations of Jayalalithaa.
“When Amma’s mortal remains were in the hospital on the night of December 5, she was not allowed to pay her respects even at that time,” he alleged.
War of attrition
Panneerselvam’s camp has gradually gathered momentum with five more party parliamentarians joining the acting chief minister’s faction on Sunday.
He has said he has the support of more than 30 MLAs – a claim disputed by Sasikala, who paraded her MLAs before the media for the first time since the lawmakers were taken to a resort last Wednesday.
He has also been boosted by governor Vidyasagar Rao indicating that he would wait for a Supreme Court verdict in a corruption case – in which Sasikala is among the accused -- that is expected this week.
Sasikala has alleged that the delay of more than a week since she staked claim to form the government is aimed to break the AIADMK. Almost every day of that week has seen one or more party leader jump ship and support Panneerselvam.
On whether the administration had come to a standstill due to the ongoing crisis, Panneerselvam has said he has been meeting government officials every day.
“Every day I am in touch with the officials. Day before yesterday, the chief secretary and DGP met me and we discussed several issues. Tomorrow, I’m going to the secretariat,” he said.
But many say in a state with no elected mayors, village heads and chief minister – and local body polls in limbo. Across the state, city corporations, municipal areas, and panchayats are being administered by special officers because local body elections have not yet been held.
Municipal elections were cancelled last October after the poll notification faced several legal challenges.
Panneerselvam has repeatedly said he would prove his majority on the floor of the assembly.
But the governor indicating he would wait for the top court’s judgment, Sasikala has also warned that her faction would resort to new modes of protest if there was any more delay.
On Sunday’s press conference addressed by AIADMK chief Sasikala, he asked why she did not meet the press when Jayalalithaa was hospitalised and why she was speaking to reporters now.
(With agency inputs)