As the battle for power drags within the AIADMK, party chief Sasikala has strengthened her resolve to be the chief minister of the state.
On Monday afternoon, the official twitter handle of the party tweeted, “No one can create any hurdles. I am not scared of anyone. I will succeed.#Chinnamma4CM”.
Sasikala’s tweet comes a day after she addressed her party MLAs for the second time during the crisis. The 129 MLAs supporting her are collectively staying at a resort in the outskirts of Chennai.
On Sunday evening, Sasikala, who is also fondly called Chinnamma by her followers, played the woman card.
“It is very difficult for a woman to be in politics. Have seen that during Purathchi Thalaivi’s (revolutionary leader, a term fondly used by Jayalalithaa’s supporters to address her) times also, but she overcame it,” a teary-eyed Sasikala said.
“The MLAs are with me….As General Secretary, I can tell you that the AIADMK government will certainly continue for the next four-and-a- half years and serve people,” she asserted.
Meanwhile, leading the other camp caretaker CM, O Panneerselvam questioned why the 129 MLAs at the resort should not be released.
“Let her (Sasikala) release them…so that they can go to their respective constituencies and meet the people and take a good decision,” Panneerselvam told reporters in Chennai.
Asserting that he has always been a staunch loyalist of Jayalalithaa, Panneerselvam said, “In the last 20 years not even once has Amma criticised me.”
Panneerselvam has been vouching to prove his majority on the floor of the House.
“When the Assembly convenes, I will prove my majority there,” the caretaker CM said.
On February 5, AIADMK General Secretary VK Sasikala was elected as the party’s Legislature Leader, a step towards her elevation as the Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu.
However, two days later, Panneerselvam had raised a revolt against her, alleging he was forced to step down. He also raised questions about Amma’s death and instituted a inquiry commission to probe the late leader’s death.
So far, Sasikala has the support of 129 MLAs and Panneerselvam only seven including himself. But several MPs have shown solidarity with Panneerselvam in the last few days. AIADMK has 37 MPs in Lok Sabha and 13 in Rajya Sabha.
(With inputs from PTI)