:Former Tamil Nadu Chief Minister O. Panneerselvam on Thursday night vowed to remove jailed AIADMK leader V.K. Sasikala’s influence on the party and announced that there would be protests and processions in each constituency opposing Edappadi K. Palaniswami’s appointment as the new Chief Minister.
Mr. Panneerselvam visited Jayalalithaa’s memorial on Thursday night, the third time in less than 10 days, and spent some time there with his supporters, including Ma Foi Pandiarajan, Ponnaiyan, and other leaders in his camp. He paid a floral tribute at Jayalalithaa’s memorial.
“Amma (Jayalalithaa) made it clear that she only allowed Sasikala back into the party (after expelling her and relatives) and not her family members. She had removed her family members from primary membership of the AIADMK and did not re-admit them till her death. But the government that has taken charge in Tamil Nadu today is Sasikala’s proxy and doesn’t comprise Amma’s true loyalists,” charged Mr. Panneerselvam.
He vowed to reinstall a government that would be filled with loyalists of former Chief Minister Jayalalithaa.
“It is unfortunate that all those who were disowned by her are now in charge of the party,” he said in an obvious reference to the appointment of Sasikala’s nephew T.T.V. Dinakaran as party deputy general secretary.
‘Against people’s wishes’
He charged that the people were against the new government. “Until this government is removed, we will not sleep or rest. The people don’t want this government,” he said.
Even as Mr. Panneerselvam put up a brave face, his cadre were disappointed at the turn of events during the day. Many were angry and disappointed when the news of Mr. Palaniswami’s swearing-in came in the morning. A number of women were critical of Sasikala and the MLAs, while the men raised slogans supporting Mr. Panneerselvam. The slogan “Vendum Vendum, OPS Vendum” (We want OPS), resonated all through the day among his supporters gathered at his residence.
Mr. Panneerselvam also visited the Government Kilpauk Hospital in the afternoon to check on the condition of a cadre who had self immolated on Wednesday evening upset over the lack of support among MLAs for his leader.
A senior hospital official said he visited the burns ward and stayed there for a few minutes. The cadre, 40-year-old Musha Abdul Rahim from Kancheepuram, immolated himself with kerosene and was brought in with 49 per cent deep burns including in the chest and respiratory passage. His condition is said to be critical.