Chennai, Feb 17: Sacked AIADMK Presidium Chairman E. Madhusudanan who had earlier been expelled by Sasikala Natarajan from the party for backing Panneerselvam, today, expelled Sasikala Natarajan as the General Secretary of the party. The former Presidium chairman also removed Sasikala’s nephew TTV Dinakaran and relative Venkatesh from their respective party posts who were reinducted into the party after the Supreme Court announced Sasikala guilty in DA case on February 14. Madhusudanan was replaced with KA Sengottaiyan by Sasikala after he joined the Panneerselvam camp on February 10.
Accusing Sasikala of violating her promise to late Jayalalithaa, Madhusudhanan said, “VK Sasikala is being removed from the party’s primary membership for going against the party principles and ideals, and having violated her promise to Amma (Jayalalithaa), besides facing criminal cases. She has brought disrepute to the party,” he said in a statement. “Dinakaran and Venkatesh’s re-induction, done without any authority is being cancelled,” he said.
Before surrendering, Sasikala Natarajan revoked the suspension of nephew TTV Dinakaran and elected him as the deputy general secretary of the party. She also reinducted ‘expelled’ S. Venkatesh in the AIADMK. S. Venkatesh and Dinakaran were reinducted after six years of expulsion by her predecessor Jayalalithaa. Jayalalithaa had expelled 12 more persons of Sasikala’s family on the charges of interfering with the government administration.
Madhusudhanan had met Panneerselvam at his residence. He (Madhusudhanan), later on, told the media that his conscience was urging him to join OPS. Addressing a media conference, Panneerselvam appointed Madhusudhanan as the permanent general secretary of the AIADMK and informed the media that Jayalalithaa’s Poes Garden residence (Veda Nilayam) where Sasikala resides right now will be converted into Amma’s memorial.
Sasikala Natarajan has been lodged in a Bengaluru jail after being convicted in the 21-year-old Disproportionate Assets case by the Supreme Court.
In the political brouhaha in Tamil nadu, with Sasikala expelling Madhusudhanan as the Presidium Chairman of AIADMK and in a tit for tat move Madhusudhanan expelling Sasikala and the Deputy General Secretary of the party, what still remains unclear is that who exactly owns the party? Is it the Sasikala led AIADMK with 124 MLAs or the Panneerselvam led AIADMK with 11 MLAs?
Sasikala’s ‘proxy’ Edappadi Palanisamy was sworn-in as the Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu. Palaniswami’s swearing in will be followed by a floor test on Saturday, February 18. Although many people switched sides before and after Sasikala’s conviction, Panneerselvam claims to have the support of only 11 MLAs while Sasikala-led faction carries 124 MLAs along. While Panneerselvam does not have the explicit support of a very large number of MLAs, he has continuously been insisting that he would prove majority if asked to do so.
On February 18, if Palanisamy proves his majority, he will remain the Chief Minister until the next election is held in Tamil Nadu but, if he fails, the state will go back to where it all began.
“I wish to say that Amma’s (Jayalalithaa) government will continue by me proving majority in the Assembly,” Palaniswami told reporters. Meanwhile, Jayalalithaa’s Man Friday Panneerselvam, who was always there when Amma was in misery, vowed to continue his dharm yudh till Jayalalithaa’s rule in Tamil Nadu is established.
Here’s what can be expected in the floor test on February 18:
The strength of Tamil Nadu assembly is 234.
If more than half the number of MLAs refuse the no-confidence motion, Palanisamy will stay the Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu. If the opposition party refrains, Palanisamy will need 74 MLAs to prove his majority.
Although Kanimozhi has made it clear that DMK will not be a part of the floor test, if it participates and supports OPS, he will have the support of 118 MLAs. It seems difficult for now for Panneerselvam to prove majority.
It is expected that of the gathered MLAs (except for Panneerselvam and Pandiarajan), many might end up joining the Sasikala camp as they have openly been invited by the rivals. “Barring Panneerselvam and school education minister K Pandiarajan, all other MLAs in the rival camp are welcome to join us,” said OS Manian.If both the warring factions claim to have the majority of MLAs’ support to become the next CM, in that case, the Governor shall leave the decision on the House.
In the floor test, the Governor will hold a secret ballot for the selection of the next CM. That can happen in a case of confusion on which camp holds the majority and if the situation cannot be resolved.
As per the Article 175 (2) of the Constitution, the Governor might ask the House to elect the next CM by secret ballot, a floor test.