V K sasikala, who was sent to jail on Wednesday after being convicted in a disproportionate assets case by the Supreme Court (See: SC jails Sasikala for 4 years in assets case), will still be ruling Tamil Nadu from jail with the governor inviting her nominee Edapadi Palanisamy to form government there. The Tamil Nadu governor on Wednesday met Palanisami, who claimed the support of 124 state legislators, and is reported to have invited him to form government.
He will be administered oath in the evening and will have to prove his majority within 15 days.
The governor also met acting chief minister O Panneerselvam, who said he has the support of 11 MLAs. Both the leaders wanted to take a trust vote in the legislature and presented the governor with a list of legislators supporting them.
The AIADMK has 134 of Tamil Nadu's 234 legislators and the Sasikala faction is claiming support of 124 of these. However, the Panneerselvam camp hopes to receive 30 MLAs from Sasikala side today.
A senior leader says the AIADMK camp led by Panneerselvam is hoping to receive a sizeable number of legislators today. He also expects the governor may not invite public works minister Edappadi K Palaniswami to form the government in the state till everything seems to be clear.
"With Deepa Jayakumar joining hands with Panneerselvam, the strength of our camp has increased manifold and there is no patch up moves," he adds.
Sasikala chose a loyalist E Palanisamy as the legislature party leader in her stead after she expelled Tamil Nadu acting chief minister O Panneerselvam, who had contested Sasikala's bid to become the chief minister.
Sasikala also appointed her nephew T T V Diakaran as her deputy in the AIADMK to ensure continuity of her hold on the party and partymen.
After the verdict came, many MLAs sided with Panneerselvam, but he could not win enough support to defeat Sasikala's bid for power.
But, there is resentment in the party and many are expected to part ways once they are released from the resort where they are lodged at present.
Hours after Sasikala chose her nephew Dinakaran as the deputy general secretary of AIADMK, V R Karuppasamy Pandian, a strongman from the south, quit the party post, raising allegations of nepotism. Pandian, who returned to AIADMK last July and was recently made one of the organising secretaries, backed O Panneerselvam as the best person to lead the party, but said he had not decided about joining his faction.
Addressing the media at Tirunelveli on Wednesday, Pandian questioned the legitimacy of Dinakaran's appointment at a time when Sasikala's elevation as interim general secretary was pending before the Election Commission of India.
A three-time MLA, Pandian added that posts should be awarded based on work and dedication. ''Dinakaran used to serve tea when we (deputy general secretaries) used to discuss affairs in Chennai, while MGR was undergoing treatment in the US,'' he said.
The party formed by M G Ramachandran now lacks direction, which has left lakhs of cadre stranded and helpless, he fumed.
''The AIADMK has fallen into the hands of one family. Sasikala and family were once expelled from the party for being disloyal to the late Jayalalithaa. Only Sasikala was allowed back after tendering apology. But now, Dinakaran and Venkatesh have been re-inducted. I can't be a party to it, so I am resigning,'' Pandian said.