Governor ‘Won’t Be Intimidated’ By VK Sasikala’s Warning, Say Sources: 10 Facts

CHENNAI:  Tamil Nadu Governor will not be intimidated by Ms Sasikala’s reported intentions to undertake a hunger strike and her suggestions that a delay in her oath ceremony is directed at splitting the party, sources have said. The Governor, sources said, believes he has constitutional duty to provide a stable government. He has so far refrained from inviting her due to the assets case against her, in which a verdict is expected later this week. If convicted, Ms Sasikala will not be able to hold public office or stand for elections for six months. More lawmakers and legislators, meanwhile, joined the O Panneerselvam camp. Last Sunday, Mr Panneerselvam had offered his resignation from the Chief Minister’s post. While he was understood to have stepped aside for Ms Sasikala, he announced 2 days later that he had been forced to resign.

Here are the 10 latest developments in this story:

1. “It is not just a question of numbers. The Governor is concerned about ability to form stable government. It is not right to try to intimidate with threats,” a source told NDTV. Ms Sasikala had said her patience has a limit and after that they will do what is required.

2. K Pandiarajan – the state education minister and one of VK Sasikala’s most trusted lieutenants — who joined forces with Mr Panneerselvam on Saturday morning, has said more legislators are ready to show support to them and their eventual strength is expected to cross three digits.

3. Two more Lok Sabha members of the AIADMK have backed Mr Panneerselvam, who now enjoys the support of 10 lawmakers — including six from Lok Sabha and two from Rajya Sabha — and six legislators from Tamil Nadu assembly. Besides, actor-politicians Ramarajan and Thyagu have also extend support to Mr Panneerselvam.

4. A complaint has been filed with the police in Papanasam, Thanjavur, that says agriculture minister Durai Kannan is missing. A complaint has also been filed saying Minister S Valarmathi has missing, with the police in Tiruchi.

5. Party sources say Ms Sasikala’s camp have the support of 127 legislators, including 27 ministers, who have been corralled in a luxury resort in an attempt to prevent their being influenced by Mr Panneerselvam’s faction.

6. Yesterday, under the orders of Governor C Vidyasagar Rao, the police and the district administration had collected letters from all legislators, that said they were staying at the resort on their own free will. Mr Panneerselvam’s camp has alleged that lawmakers had been forced to sign blank sheets which have been misused by Ms Sasikala.

7. Ms Sasikala, who met the legislators supporting her today, said the people who were against J Jayalalithaa were “attacking” them. “We are observing developments. We have faith in the Constitution and democracy. We will win,” she said.

8. In her meeting with the Governor, Ms Sasikala requested him to expedite her oath ceremony. Pointing out that it has been a week since Mr Panneerselvam’s resignation, she later wrote to the Governor, saying, “I believe Your Excellency will act immediately to save the sovereignty of the Constitution, democracy and the interest of the State”.

9.Apprehensions of violence have been growing in the state. On Saturday, at least 1000 anti-social elements had been rounded up in Chennai, police sources have said.

10. The Tamil Nadu assembly has 235 members and to be chief minister, a leader has to prove the support of 118 lawmakers.


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