Sasikala's proxy takes over as Tamil Nadu chief minister

Marco Green
February 17, 2017

After the guilty verdict, Sasikala had installed her nephew T.T.V. Dhinakaran, who had been expelled by Ms Jayalalithaa in 2011, as the deputy general secretary, a powerful post within the party. Palaniswami is the 13th Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu.

Minutes after after the apex court delivered the verdict, Sasikala went into a huddle with her MLAs to decide on the next steps.

Jayalalithaa, one of India's most powerful and revered politicians, died in December a year ago after a "massive" cardiac arrest.

The DMK leader has earlier criticised what he called a "total paralysis of administration in Tamil Nadu for nine months" since former chief minister J Jayalalithaa and the sole power centre then of the ruling party was hospitalised in September a year ago.

Addressing reporters after the Governor met Palanisamy and others, Fisheries Minister Jayakumar said: "We have submitted to the Governor the list of legislators supporting Palanisamy". Palaniswami has retained most of the ministers of Panneerselvam cabinet. Sasikala was sentenced to four years in prison and banned from contesting an election.

In 1987 after party founder MG Ramachandran's death, the AIADMK split into two factions - one led by Jayalalithaa and the other by MGR's wife Janaki.

Governor C Vidyasagar Rao has given Palaniswami 15 days to prove his majority in the Assembly.

There were also rumours that Sasikala had held party MLAs captive in a heavily-guarded resort in Koovathur to prevent horsetrading, a charge that was denied by her.

Fearing attacking on AIADMK interim general secretary Sasikala Natarajan security of Kaataka Central jail is beefed up.

Paneerselvam, who had resigned as acting chief minister, told the media that he had been forced to resign under duress.

The Tamil Nadu assembly will convene on 20 February. The new claimant, Edapaddi Palanisami, who was elected leader of the AIADMK legislative party by MLAs, was a member of the House and was not in any way disqualified or likely to be ineligible. It may be recalled that Sasikala has removed Panneerselvam from the primary membership of the party. Both the Governor and the Supreme Court successfully foiled Sasikala's attempt to challenge and kill democracy and mutilate popular will.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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