New Delhi, Feb 17: In a sensational revelation, Tamil Nadu deputy chief minister O Panneerselvam said he decided to merge his faction with another faction led by Chief Minister E Palaniswami on the advice of Prime Minister Narendra Modi. OPS also said that PM Modi also advised him to be a minister in newly formed alliance in August 2016. All India Anna Dravid Munnetra Kazhagam (AIADMK) had split in two factions after the death of former CM Jayalalitha. Also Read - School Reopening News: This State Has Decided to Resume All Classes Simultaneously | Here's When And How
He added that the conversation took place during a courtesy meeting with PM Modi. “He (PM Modi) said that you (OPS) could join to save the party,” PTI quoted Paneerselvam as saying. Also Read - BJP Workers Offer 70-kg 'Laddu' at Coimbatore Temple Ahead of PM Modi's 70th Birthday
Paneerselvam added that he did not want any portfolio in the government and would be happy with any position in the party. He had conveyed the same to his colleagues who were negotiating talks but PM Modi told him to join the government. Also Read - Sasikala's Probable Date of Release is Jan 27, 2021: Bangalore Central Prison
“That is why I am a minister today. I have no desire to be a minister. Amma (Jayalalithaa) made me MLA four times and chief minister twice. That honour itself is enough for me,” added Paneerselvam. The trusted confidante of Jayalalitha became chief minister of Tamil Nadu in 2001 and 2014 when she was sentenced to jail in two different cases.
Paneerselvam said that family members of Sasikala, then general secretary of AIADMK, tried hard to defeat him in 2016 elections too. Panneerselvam had revolted against Sasikala and her family last year after allegedly being forced to make way for her elevation to the chief minister’s post.
“If anyone else had faced this amount of crisis and problems, they would have committed suicide or would have left the party. (But) I tolerated everything for Amma,” he said.