AIADMK crisis: 3 more MPs join O. Panneerselvam

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Chennai: Amidst the intense power struggle within ruling All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (AIADMK), the O. Panneerselvam camp on Sunday got a boost with three more MPs extending support to the chief minister.

The party’s Lok Sabha MPs Jaisingh Thiyagaraj Natterjee (Tuticorin), Senguttuvan (Vellore) and R P Marutharaja (Perambalur) extended their support to Pannerselvam. The MPs called on Panneerselvam at his Greenways Road residence this morning and extended solidarity to him.

Four AIADMK Lok Sabha MPS—P. R. Sundaram, K. Ashok Kumar, V. Sathyabama and Vanaroja— had already switched over to the chief minister’s camp, pledging support to him. Rajya Sabha MP V. Maitreyan is also in the Panneerselvam camp.

Panneerselvam at present also enjoys the support of seven MLAs, including him. In the 235-member Tamil Nadu Assembly, AIADMK has 135 MLAs. AIADMK Fisheries wing Joint Secretary K A Jeyapaul, a Minister in the 2011-16 Jayalalithaa cabinet and former Erode Mayor Mallika Paramasivan also joined the Panneerselvam camp on Sunday.

On 5 February, AIADMK general secretary V.K. Sasikala was elected as the party’s Legislature Leader, a step towards her elevation as chief minister of Tamil Nadu. However, two days later, Panneerselvam had raised a revolt against her, alleging he was forced to step down for her. AIADMK has 37 MPs in Lok Sabha and 13 in Rajya Sabha