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Combative Sasikala expels Panneerselvam, 19 others

Tuesday, Feb 14, 2017,13:56 IST By anju A A A

Chennai | Cracking the whip, AIADMK General Secretary VK Sasikala today expelled rebel leader O Panneerselvam and 19 other senior leaders from the party’s primary membership.

The decision came on a day Sasikala loyalist Edappady K Palaniswami was elected the Legislature Party Leader in her place soon after the Supreme Court convicted her in the disproportionate assets case dealing a blow to her hopes of becoming chief minister.

The expulsion marks another twist in the week-long saga ever since Chief Minister Panneerselvam rebelled against Sasikala alleging he was forced to step down to give way to her.

She had called him a betrayer and had accused him of colluding with DMK.

A combative Sasikala today said Panneerselvam, who is the caretaker Chief Minister, had “gone against the party principles and brought disrepute” as she announced his expulsion and that of his sympathisers.

With this step, Sasikala intends to stall any challenge to Palaniswami, who will stake claim to form government.

The others who were sacked along with Panneerselvam include School Education Minister K Pandiarajan, a founding member of the party and spokesperson C Ponnaiyan, former Ministers KP Munusamy, Natham R Viswanthan, KA Jayapaul and P Mohan, former Speaker PH Pandian and his son Manoj, and minority wing functionary JCD Prabhakar, also a former MLA.

She also announced the sacking of some former MLAs.

The Panneerselvam camp, however, said Sasikala did not have the authority to sack him, and that she had “no moral or legal authority to do so”.

“They (Sasikala) have no legal or moral authority to suspend anybody from the party,” Pandiarajan said, adding, they also had no right to elect anybody as Legislature Party leader.