CHENNAI, Feb 12:
Support grew today for Tamil Nadu’s caretaker Chief Minister O Panneerselvam, locked in a bruising feud with AIADMK supremo V K Sasikala for power, with five more MPs crossing over to his camp.
Four Lok Sabha MPs—Jaisingh Thiyagaraj Natterjee (Tuticorin), Senguttuvan (Vellore), R P Marutharaja (Perambalur) and S Rajendran (Villupuram) met Panneerselvam at his Greenways residence this morning and pledged support to him, taking the number of MPs backing him in the fight to 10.
Rajya Sabha MP R Lakshmanan also switched over to the Panneerselvam camp, provoking an embattled Sasikala to sack him as the party’s Villupuram (North) district chief.
Amid continued uncertainty over her swearing-in and struggling to keep her flock together as desertion by the MPS went on, Sasikala met AIADMK MLAs housed at a resort on Chennai’s outskirts for the second successive day.
Before heading for the resort, Sasikala told journalists outside the Poes Garden residence of her mentor and former Chief Minister, the late J Jayalalithaa, it was “very difficult” to be a woman in politics.
Sasikala also displayed a copy of a ‘fake letter’ allegedly sent by her to Governor C Vidyasagar Rao threatening to commit suicide if she was not allowed to form the Government. (PTI)