OPS Camp Gets Major Boost As 3 More MPs Jump The Ship

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Chennai: Amidst the intense power struggle within ruling AIADMK, the O Panneerselvam camp on Sunday got a boost with three more MPs extending support to the Chief Minister.

The party’s Lok Sabha MPs Jaisingh Thiyagaraj Natterjee (Tuticorin), Senguttuvan (Vellore) and R P Marutharaja (Perambalur) extended their support to Pannerselvam.

The MPs called on Panneerselvam at his Greenways Road residence this morning and extended solidarity to him.

Four AIADMK Lok Sabha MPs — P R Sundaram, K Ashok Kumar, V Sathyabama and Vanaroja — had already switched over to the Chief Minister’s camp, pledging support to him. Rajya Sabha MP V Maitreyan is also in the Panneerselvam camp.

Panneerselvam at present also enjoys the support of seven MLAs, including him. In the 235-member Tamil Nadu Assembly, AIADMK has 135 MLAs.

AIADMK Fisheries wing Joint Secretary K A Jeyapaul, a Minister in the 2011-16 Jayalalithaa cabinet and former Erode Mayor Mallika Paramasivan also joined the Panneerselvam camp on Sunday.

On February 5, AIADMK General Secretary VK Sasikala was elected as the party’s Legislature Leader, a step towards her elevation as Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu.

However, two days later, Panneerselvam had raised a revolt against her, alleging he was forced to step down for her.

AIADMK has 37 MPs in Lok Sabha and 13 in Rajya Sabha.