O Panneerselvam hobnobbed with DMK so he was asked to go: Sasikala

Monday, Feb 13, 2017,19:07 IST By anju A A A

Chennai | Suggesting that O Panneerselvam did not resign on his own, AIADMK General Secretary V K Sasikala today said the Chief Minister was asked to go because he “hobnobbed” with the party’s arch rival DMK.

Recalling the circumstances under which he was asked to resign on February 5, she said, Panneerselvam “pushed us to do that and we did not do it on our own. This is what had happened.”

Speaking to party workers at the Poes Garden residence of late Jayalalithaa, she said, “I would have allowed him, as I did not aspire to becomes CM and that is the truth.” After he put in his papers on February 5, Panneerselvam initially maintained he had resigned due to ‘personal reasons’. He had also proposed the name of Sasikala for the top post.

However, two days later, revolting against the party leadership, Panneerselvam said he was forced to resign on the ground that he should follow party discipline.

Sasikala today said, “They (DMK) had thought that if possible, let Panneerselvam split up and bring with him some legislators and with 89 MLAs (of DMK), a government could be formed.”

She said the Chief Minister did not comment when DMK Deputy Leader in Assembly Duraimurugan last week said his party would support him.

Since Panneerselvam did not reject DMK’s support, Sasikala said, she “understood” that Karunanidhi-led party was “instigating” him.

Duraimurugan, in his usual style and lighter mood had told Panneerselvam “you be the Chief Minsiter for five years, our support will be there for you.”

“He should have told Duraimurugan that he does not need their support when the AIADMK has a majority,” Sasikala said.

“If Panneerselvam had said just that, I would have allowed him to continue and I would not have disturbed him.” “We decided to take a decision soon and it was Panneerselvam who pushed us to do that and we did not do it on our own and this is what had happened,” she said.

Sasikala said she was never hankering after the office of Chief Minister and “at that time of grief (after Jayalalithaa’s demise) the office of chief minister did not appear big to me.”

Panneerselvam, who was just an ordinary man from small town Periyakulam, was groomed by Amma but “is trying to divide, and rule, this party without any gratitude,” she charged, adding he “demonstrated that he has not been loyal to the party”.

“We have seen a thousand Panneerselvams before getting on to this stage and struggles are like dust on my hand and I am not worried,” she said.

She quoted a Tamil proverb, which translated as, “We will form the government and inaugurate a portrait of Amma in the Assembly.”

She said Panneerselvam could do “nothing” to the 1.5-crore strong party which was built by Jayalalithaa and whose efforts saw the party getting unified after witnessing a split following the death of former chief minister M G Ramachandran.