CHENNAI: At the end of a day of simmering political developments, Chief Minister O Panneerselvam called on Governor Ch Vidyasagar Rao on Thursday evening seeking to withdraw the resignation he tendered on Sunday, while AIADMK general secretary VK Sasikala staked claim for the post, submitting a copy of the resolution by party MLAs – including Panneerselvam himself – supporting her.
The governor, however, is yet to invite either of them; sources said he has sought legal opinion, while unconfirmed reports suggesting that Governor Rao has sent a report on the state of affairs to the Centre and the President.
“The chief minister explained the circumstances under which he was made to resign, and indicated his wish to withdraw the resignation that was forced on him,” a leader close to Panneerselvam told Express.
According to the source, one of the MLAs, SP Shunmuganathan, gave a personal petition explaining how he was kept captive and that he had to escape from there to express support to Panneerselvam. “This indicates that the support letters they have might have been obtained using force, and could even be fake,” the person added.
Meanwhile, meeting the governor afterwards, Sasikala noted in her letter that Panneerselvam had resigned as the chief minister February 5, and presented a copy of the resolution adopted by 134 party MLAs on that day, electing her unanimously as the legislative party leader.
Interestingly, the signatories of the resolution include even Panneerselvam and the band of five rebels. Speaking to the media outside her Poes Garden residence, minister K Pandiarajan said the names include all MLAs except Speaker P Dhanapal had signed on the resolution on that day.
Accompanied by cabinet ministers and other seniors, Sasikala held a one-on-one discussion with the governor for about 15 minutes, Pandiarajan said, expressing confidence that she would be invited to form the government soon.