Tamil Nadu Chief Minister O Panneerselvam in Chennai. Pic/PTI
Tamil Nadu Chief Minister O Panneerselvam in Chennai. Pic/PTI

Chennai: Tamil Nadu CM O Panneerselvam as well as AIADMK party chief VK Sasikala invoked former CM J Jayalalithaa on Saturday to attract attention of party workers and the masses.

Earlier in the day, Sasikala said, "Amma has given me 1.5 crore party brothers and sisters and she is confident that I will look after AIADMK. Amma is showing us betrayers of our party. People who think they can separate our party that has 1.5 crore people will only face defeat."

In a bid to draw attention, Panneerselvam said, "Am­ma's soul is leading us and truth will win. I am confident leaders who care about Tamil people will come and join us."

OPS camp's gain
Panneerselvam drew more blood from the Sasikala camp in the battle for power with a minister, two Lok Sabha MPs and AIADMK spo­k­espe­rs­on joining him while she issued a veiled warning that patience was "wearing thin" on not being sworn in. School Education Minister K Pandiarajan, PR Sundaram and K Ashok Ku­mar, both MPs, switched over to the OPS camp. Party veteran C Ponnaiyan, former minister MM Rajendra Prasad and V Sathyabama too joined him.

VK Sasikala
VK Sasikala

Sasikala's protests
Rattled by the desertions and delay, Sa­sikala said, "All party MLAs are fine. We were waiting patie­n­tly till for a reply from the Governor. All necessary measures will be taken. From tomorrow (Sunday) onwards, we would begin a new kind of protest. The delaying tactics were an attempt to create divisions in party."

Support for Panneerselvam
C Ponnaiyan, Senior AIADMK leader
'Only person now who has been with the party for so many years and assumed duty of CM twice is Paneerselvam'

Sathyabama, AIADMK MP
'I extend my support to Paneerselvam, who continues to walk on the path of Amma'