Chennai: AIADMK interim party general secretary VK Sasikala Natarajan on Wednesday said that after Jayalalithaa’s demise, she could not take up the responsibility of Chief Minister as she was ‘very sad’. She addressed the media after an emergency strategic meet with party cadres. She also branded Panneerselvam the traitor alleging taht he had opposition’s back.
Hitting out at O Panneerselvam, Sasikala said she could ‘sense’ the acts of a Chief Minister who ‘completely connived with the Opposition’.
Sasikala claimed that ‘it became my responsibility to put an end to wrongdoings done by the CM O Panneerselvam’.
She added, “Our opponents are after us and spearheading whatever is happening today, but nothing can stop us from following Amma’s path.”
“Paneerselvam colluded with the party which Amma fought against. We will give a big blow to this act of betrayal and disloyalty,” Natarajan said.
“Neither AIADMK nor me will be cowed down. Nobody has the power to split or divide us. Betrayal has never won,” Sasikala said.
The AIADMK Legislature Party seems to be strongly behind its newly elected leader V K Sasikala with 131 of the 134 MLAs attending a meet called by her on Wednesday where she asked them not to “side with traitors” who have “struck” a deal with the DMK.
In an emotional speech at the meeting at the party headquarters, Sasikala questioned OPS’ silence for about 48 hours after she was elected as leader of the legislature party on Sunday.
“Please don’t side with traitors who have struck a deal with DMK which was out to finish Anna’s legacy. No force on the earth can break the AIADMK,” she thundered before her legislators.
She asserted that all the party MLAs are supporting her and hence there is “no problem” in her becoming the Tamil Nadu Chief Minister.
“All the MLAs are there like a single family, so there is no problem,” she told reporters at a crowded press meet.
She denied Panneerselvam’s charge that he was coerced to resign, saying “he was saying what he was told.”
Sasikala waved the AIADMK two leaves symbol to party supporters gathered outside the residence, smiled, quickly completed the press meet and went back inside.
Earlier, an emergency meeting of the AIADMK MLAs got underway in Chennai under the leadership of party Sasikala amidst a political turmoil triggered by the revolt of sacked Treasurer and Chief Minister O Panneerselvam. The meeting at the party headquarters is likely to chalk out the future course of action as a section of leaders, including some MLAs, have already extended support to Panneerselvam. Senior ministers and party functionaries participated in the meeting.
Pannerselvam has said that Sasikala has no powers to sack him as treasurer. He said the general secretary was elected on a temporary basis in view of the extraordinary situation faced by the party (after Jayalalithaa’s demise).