Political volatility in Tamil Nadu persists on Friday as interim chief minister O. Paneerselvam and the ruling All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam’s (AIADMK) general secretary V.K. Sasikala continue their bitter power struggle to take over the reins of the state.
Former Minister and Srivaiguntam MLA S.P. Shunmuganathan on Friday lodged a complaint alleging AIADMK MLAs were in illegal detention under the instructions of V.K.Sasikala adding that he was able to “escape” from virtual confinement.
Mr. Shunmuganathan said the Chennai Police Commissioner S. George refused to meet him and he has presented his complaint to the Governor and DGP too.
Mr. Shunmuganathan came to the Chennai Police Commissioner office on Friday to lodge a formal complaint. But he was asked to meet Additional Commissioner K. Shankar.
Kattumannarkoil MLA N Murugumaran said he was staying at the resort near here on his own volition and that he was paying for the expenses from his own pocket.
“There is no intimidation, no abduction, no pressure. These are all cooked up charges,” he said.
While some of the MLAs were staying there, others were residing at places of their choice, he said.
“MLAs cannot be kept hostage. Sasikala is treating us like how (late Chief Minister J) Jayalalithaa treated us,” he added.
“We are not birds being kept in a cage,” added another legislator.
Responding to reports that most of the MLAs were not reachable on the phone, he said he had switched off his mobile phone to avoid “unnecessary calls,” and to avoid any kind of speculations and “wrong news.”
Gudiyatham MLA Jayanti Padmanabhan also said she was not being detained as was being made out and lashed out at Panneerselvam. Former Minister and senior party leader B Valarmathi insisted that the MLAs were free and alleged they were being “intimidated” by those close to Panneerselvam.
In more support to Panneerselvam, AIADMK leader E Ponnusamy on Friday joined his camp, and urged the party MLAs to back him. He said Panneerselvam had been identified by former party supremo J Jayalalithaa and appealed to the AIADMK MLAs to extend their support to him.
Earlier, AIADMK removed E Madusudhanan from his post as presidium chairman and from the party’s primary membership for backing acting chief minister O Panneerselvam. Former minister and senior leader KA Sengottaiyan has been appointed the new presidium chairman.
E Madhusudanan sent a petition to the Election Commission not to recognise VK Sasikala as general secretary of AIADMK, as she was not a party member for a period of five consecutive years.
Top government and police officials today met with Governor Vidyasagar Rao and apprised him of the present political situation in the state. The meeting lasted for about 45 minutes.