Sasikala flashes victory sign, says she did not force Pannerselvam for anything

| Updated: Aug 23, 2017 11:20 IST

Chennai (Tamil Nadu) [India], Feb. 8 (ANI): The political drama in the All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (AIADMK) refuses to die any soon. Minutes after the incumbent Chief Minister O. Pannerselvam was removed from the post of the party's treasurer, the legislative leader of the party V.K. Sasikala waved and flashed victory sign to her supporters at her Poes Garden residence and assured there was no rift in the party. "There is no confusion or problem in our party. We are united like a family," Sasikala said while answering the media outside her residence. "I did not force O. Pannerselvam for anything. So, what he is saying is not correct," she added. When asked if Pannerselvam would be removed from all party positions, including that of the treasurer, she said, "Surely, we will do it." Sasikala held the Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (DMK) responsible for the upheaval in their party and said she saw the opposition party leader and Pannerselvam exchanging smile and warmth in a recent assembly session. In a rather shocking turn of events, Sasikala removed Pannerselvam from the post of the party's treasurer after he openly revolted at the memorial of J. Jayalalithaa and said that he was forced to resign from the post. He is replaced by former member of parliament Dindigul Sreenivasan. Earlier, an emergency meeting of top AIADMK leaders was called at Sasikala`s residence following Pannerselvam`s surprise visit to Jayalalithaa's memorial on Marina beach in Chennai and meditation at the grave of his political guru. Dropping unannounced at the beach, Pannerselvam earlier in the day set tongues wagging by meditating near his predecessor Jayalalithaa's memorial and then proceeding to tear into Sasikala. The surprise visit set speculations rife over his decision to give up his post as Chief Minister, as many pondered if he was silently protesting against the current developments in the state or simply praying before Amma. After almost 30 minutes, Pannerselvam finally broke the suspense by getting up from his meditating stance and proceeding to speak to the media. "There are some truths that I want to tell to my party cadre and to the people of this country. I have performed my duty without any shortcomings and carried forward path shown by Amma. When she (Jayalalithaa) was in the hospital, she (asked me to take over as Chief Minister. I was told that I have to save the party and the state. I was given the post but was then insulted continuously," the interim Chief Minister said. He then dropped a bombshell by proceeding to say that he was presently being forced to step down from his post and pave way for Sasikala, revealing that Revenue Minister R B Udhayakumar, has suggested Sasikala to take over his post. "The question of Sasikala becoming Chief Minister came up during a meeting at her place. At the time I asked how this was even justified. However, the party leaders said I have to take an initiative towards making her the Chief Minister, and that's how I was forced to tender resignation," Pannerselvam said. He further went on to assert that he will even take back his resignation if party workers and the people of the state want him to. (ANI)