AIADMK’s strategy is to dissuade the governor from inviting Panneerselvam to take a floor test
Officials of the All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam told Scroll.in that strategies “for all possible scenarios” had been put in place before the verdict. Sasikala spent the night at the Golden Bay Resorts in Kancheepuram, where 128 MLAs owing allegiance to her have been staying for the past five days. Panneerselvam – who had stepped down as chief minister to make way for Sasikala on February 5, only to rebel against her two days later – has alleged that the MLAs are being held there against their will. He has also said he was coerced into resigning and has challenged Sasikala’s election as leader of the AIADMK’s legislative party by petitioning the governor, Vidyasagar Rao. Since then, at least eight MLAs and 11 parliamentarians have shifted to the Panneerselvam faction.
The plan for a potential conviction on Tuesday – making her ineligible to become chief minister – was to have the MLAs on her side elect a new leader of the legislative party nominated by her. Senior leader KA Sengotaiyan has emerged as the frontrunner in such a scenario.
Sensing the growing support for Panneerselvam in the party, Sasikala made an emotional appeal to MLAs on Sunday, blaming misogyny in Tamil Nadu politics for the attacks on her. Dragging the Union government into the mess indirectly, she said there were forces out to destroy the AIADMK. “But let me assure you, from Chennai to Delhi, there is no one capable of shaking this party,” she said, adding that Panneerselvam was working in collusion with the opposition Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam.