More 'twists' in TN's 'Game of Thrones'
The power struggle in Tamil Nadu seemed to be heading towards some sort of conclusion with the Supreme Court on Friday refusing to give an urgent hearing on a PIL seeking to restrain All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (AIADMK) leader V K Sasikala from being sworn in as the chief minister of Tamil Nadu till it decides the disproportionate assets case against her.
Meanwhile, the Madras High Court Friday sought the Tamil Nadu government's response to allegations that AIADMK MLAs were being illegally detained in a resort near here and 20 of them were on a fast.
Referring to claims by the counsel for habeas corpus petitioners that the 20 MLAs were on a fast protesting their illegal detention, a division bench of justices C T Selvam and T Mathivanan said if true, it was a matter of serious concern, but added the court cannot act on mere submissions of counsel. "(Counsel) K Balu submits that 20 of the MLAs are refusing food and drink owing to their illegal confinement. If true, the matter is one of serious concern.
Meanwhile, a section of AIADMK MLAs owing allegiance to Sasikala have dismissed media reports and allegations by the Panneerselvam camp that they have been "detained" at a resort near here, and asserted that they were "free".
V C Arukutty, MLA from Kavundampalayam in Coimbatore and a supporter of Panneerselvam, alleged that the MLAs had been "detained" and were "not reachable." "The MLAs are not reachable. They have been detained.
They are legislators elected by people, so release them. Let them go and meet people," he told reporters here.
However, the MLAs owing allegiance to Sasikala rejected the allegations.
"We are free. We are keenly awaiting Governor's invitation (to Sasikala to form government). We are not children to be detained or abducted as is being reported in a section of media," Perundurai MLA ND Venkadachalam said.
Meanwhile, Srivaikundam MLA and former minister SP Shanmuganathan, a supporter of Panneerselvam, filed a police complaint here seeking to know the whereabouts of the legislators.
"There is no idea where the MLAs are," he said, adding that he has urged the police to find them.
Meanwhile, the battle of wits over the swearing-in of V K Sasikala, continued on Friday with the CM aspirant sacking party presidium chairman E Madusudanan, who wrote to the Election Commission not to recognise her as AIADMK general secretary.
Sending a strong message to her detractors, Sasikala sacked Madusudanan from the primary membership of the party, a day after he switched over to the rebel camp led by caretaker Chief Minister O Panneerselvam, and appointed former minister K A Sengottaiyan in his place.
Hitting back at Sasikala, Madusudanan has written to the poll panel urging it to not to recognise her as AIADMK general secretary, saying she was not elected to the post as per party by-laws.
As there was no word from Raj Bhavan about Sasikala's swearing-in even five days after she was elected AIADMK legislature party leader, party spokesperson Vaigaichelvan voiced confidence that she would take over the reins of the state soon.
"Chinnamma (Sasikala) had met the Governor on Thursday.
Good news will come soon. She will become Chief Minister," he asserted.
He also reiterated the party stand that DMK was behind Panneerselvam's revolt.
Amid continuing political uncertainty, top government and police officials on Friday called on Tamil Nadu Governor Ch Vidyasagar Rao and apprised him of the present political situation in the state.
Chief Secretary Girija Vaidyanathan, Director General of Police, T K Rajendran, Chennai Police Commissioner, S George apprised Governor Rao.
DMK working president M K Stalin also called on the Governor on Friday and asked him to find an early solution to the problem.