Sasikala or O. Panneerselvam: Who will be Tamil Nadu chief minister?

Both AIADMK General Secretary Sasikala, and caretaker CM O Panneerselvam met the Governor yesterday in Chennai

VK Sasikala
VK Sasikala

Chennai: AIADMK General Secretary VK Sasikala yesterday staked claim to form the government during a 40-minute meeting with Governor Ch Vidyasagar Rao, who arrived in the city in the afternoon.

Ch Vidyasagar Rao
Ch Vidyasagar Rao

Couple of hours after caretaker Chief Minister O Panneerselvam visited Rao, Sasikala called on the Governor and gave him a letter presumably containing the names of MLAs who elected her as AIADMK Legislature Party Leader, and requested him to invite her to form the government. However, the Governor's response was not immediately known.

O.Panneerselvam
O.Panneerselvam

Sasikala arrived at 7.25 pm at the Raj Bhavan and left after a meeting that lasted about 40 minutes. Prior to the meeting she went to the memorial of J Jayalalithaa. A teary-eyed Sasikala placed before the memorial a big closed envelope believed to be the list of MLAs who have endorsed her candidature for the top post.

At 5 pm, Panneerselvam had called on Rao and after a brief meeting told reporters that "good things will happen and dharma will triumph".

Sasikala was elected Legislature Party Leader on February 5, paving the way for her becoming the chief minister. Subsequently, Panneerselvam raised a banner of revolt on February 7, along with his supporters. Panneerselvam, who has repeatedly asserted that he will be able to prove his strength on the floor of the House, has not yet disclosed the number of MLAs supporting him. But he currently has the support of leaders like former ministers KP Munusamy, Natham R Viswanathan, Rajya Sabha MP V Maithreyan and a few sitting MLAs.

Top leader switches to OP camp
The O Panneerselvam camp yesterday received a major boost with the AIADMK Presidium Chairman E Madusudanan switching over to the Chief Minister's side, saying he wanted to "safeguard" the party.

Uncertainty over PIL against Sasikala 
The uncertainty over listing of a PIL, seeking to restrain AIADMK leader V K Sasikala from being sworn in as chief minister, for hearing before the Supreme Court continued yesterday with the apex court registry of the view that it need not be listed under the "urgent matter" category.

235
Members in the Tamil Nadu Assembly

134
The number of legislators AIADMK has

118
The MLAs whose support Sasikala needs to be CM

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