Panneerselvam to remain interim CM: Sources

Chennai (Tamil Nadu)[India], Feb. 7: In the wake of Sasikala Natarajan being appointed as the General Secretary of the AIADMK, speculations are rife over her elevation as the Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu soon, but sources suggest that the development isn't happening anytime soon.

Tamil Nadu Governor Vidyasagar Rao, who is in Mumbai at present, will not head to Chennai tomorrow and Panneerselvam is to remain interim Chief Minister until Rao examines legal implications regarding Sasikala's appointment.

Earlier, a Public Interest Litigation (PIL) was filed in the apex court seeking a stay over Sasikala's swearing-in, claiming that she had been convicted under the Prevention of Corruption Act, 1988, for amassing wealth disproportionate to her income.

The petitioner said he filed the plea in the interest of people of Tamil Nadu and to maintain the peace in the state.

Expelled Rajya Sabha MP Sasikala Pushpa and AIADMK leader KC Palaniswamy had complained to the Election Commission of India (ECI) that Sasikala's appointment as the party's interim general secretary was carried out in an undemocratic manner.

Meanwhile, acting Tamil Nadu Chief Minister O. Panneerselvam dropped unannounced at the Marina Beach here and set tongues wagging by meditating near his predecessor Jayalalithaa's memorial.

The surprise visit set speculations rife over his decision to give up his post as Chief Minister, as many pondered if he was silently protesting against the current developments in the state or simply praying before Amma.

After almost 30 minutes, Panneerselvam finally broke the suspense by getting up from his meditating stance and proceeding to speak to the media.

"There are some truths that I want to tell to my party cadre and to the people of this country. I have performed my duty without any shortcomings and carried forward path shown by Amma. When she (Jayalalithaa) was in the hospital, she (asked me to take over as Chief Minister. I was told that I have to save the party and the state. I was given the post but was then insulted continuously," the interim Chief Minister said. He then dropped a bombshell by proceeding to say that he was presently being forced to step down from his post and pave way for Sasikala, revealing that Revenue Minister R B Udhayakumar, has suggested Sasikala to take over his post.

"The question of Sasikala becoming Chief Minister came up during a meeting at her place. At the time I asked how this was even justified. However, the party leaders said I have to take an initiative towards making her the Chief Minister, and that's how I was forced to tender resignation," Panneerselvam said.

He further went on to assert that he will even take back his resignation if party workers and the people of the state want him to.

Source: ANI