New Delhi: The political crisis within Tamil Nadu’s ruling AIADMK ended on Thursday with governor C. Vidyasagar Rao inviting the Legislature Party leader Edappadi K. Palanisamy to form the next government and prove his majority within 15 days.
The development comes a day after AIADMK general secretary V.K. Sasikala Natarajan surrendered before a Bengaluru jail following her conviction in a disproportionate assets case.
Palanisamy has been chosen by Sasikala to lead the next government after a bitter power struggle with rebel chief minister O. Panneerselvam that lasted for over 10 days.
Here are the latest updates from the ongoing political crisis in Tamil Nadu:
■ 4.35pm: Edappadi K. Palanisamy takes oath as Tamil Nadu’s 13th chief minister in a low-profile ceremony at Raj Bhawan. The new chief minister and his cabinet members are expected to go the memorial of late chief minister J. Jayalalithaa after the ceremony is over.
■ 4.20 pm: The DMK today welcomed the Tamil Nadu Governor’s invitation to AIADMK Legislature Party Leader Edappadi K Palanisamy to form the government, and urged him to monitor the situation “to prevent horse trading”. Party Working President and Opposition leader M. K. Stalin was however fearful that the 15-day time given to Palanisamy to seek the vote of confidence in the Tamil Nadu Assembly could lead to large-scale “horse-trading”.
■ 3.35pm: 31-member Tamil Nadu cabinet to be sworn-in at 4.30pm: Raj Bhavan. Most of the ministers under O Panneerselvam will be retained. (PTI)
■ 3.30pm: 31 ministers will take oath along with Palanisamy, according to documents accessed by ANI.
■ 2.50pm: “Many MLAs will support only Amma’s rule and not rule of a family,” said K. Pandiarajan, AIADMK leader and OPS supporter. (CNN-News18)
■ 1.45pm: AIADMK MLAs leave from Golden Bay Resort, Kuvathur to attend the swearing-in. (CNN-News18)
■ 1.35pm: “Amma’s soul in distress since 11:30am because people responsible for her death are being given prominence. We will keep this fight alive. This is my assurance to my brothers and sisters who have stood by me all these days. We will not let the party AIADMK go into the hands of few of VK Sasikala’s family members,” said O Panneerselvam (CNN-News18)
The supporters of the acting chief minister O. Panneerselvam, centre, are going to meet the Election Commission today in New Delhi. The EC will conduct enquiry on the validity of Sasikala’s appointment as AIADMK general secretary based on the complaint of Sasikala Puspha, AIADMK’s MP in Rajya Sabha. Photo: AFP
■ 1.20pm: “O Panneerselvam is a good man but he was misled. If he would have been with Sasikala he would be CM of the state. He has committed political suicide, said Subramanian Swamy. (CNN-News18)
■ 1.00pm: Supporters gathered outside Panneerselvam residence shouting slogan against E Palaniswami. (CNN-News18)
■ 12.55pm: Senior AIADMK leader M. Thambidurai: Win for Amma and Amma’s legacy. This is people’s victory, we will carry forward Amma’s legacy in the coming days. (CNN-News18)
■ 12.50pm: CNN-News 18 reports that the full bench of Election Commission of India will conduct enquiry today at 2.45pm on the validity of Sasikala’s appointment as AIADMK general secretary based on the complaint of Sasikala Pushpa RS MP and Mathusoothanan. This outcome will decide the validity of Sasikala’s actions as general secretary.
Earlier, on 8 February, EC had sent a communication to AIADMK asking them to explain what rules of their constitution were followed to appoint the general secretary after certain complaints were raised to EC. However, no deadline has been given to them to explain the matter.
In her complaint to the Commission, Pushpa had alleged that Sasikala’s elevation as the party’s general secretary was carried out in an “undemocratic manner”.
■ 12.45pm: Dr V. Maitreyan of AIADMK has sought meeting with Election Commission along with other MPs of his party. Commission has given time to meet them today at 2.45 pm. (CNN-News18)
■ 12.40pm: AIADMK’s official twitter handle @AIADMKOfficial releases the copy of Raj Bhavan press release.
■ 12.30pm: Governor tells Palanisamy to seek vote of confidence within 15 days. AIADMK MLAs hail decision of Governor; raise pro-Sasikala slogans. (PTI)
■ 12.16pm: Tamil Nadu governor Vidyasagar Rao invites Edappadi K. Palanisamy to form government at the earliest, reports PTI. Swearing in ceremony at 4pm. (CNN-News18)
■ 11.16am: It’s not big deal and we anticipated this: Durai Pandian, Panneerselvam Camp. (CNN-News18)
■ 11.10am: “First Sasikala, and now Palanisamy have produced the list. Panneerselvam has not been able to produce a list even till now. It has become a national disgrace that Vidyasagar Rao took so much time to do what should have been done earlier. His friends played on his emotions. I have no doubt about his integrity, but he is a bit sentimental about friendships. The Centre said they wouldn’t take an official stand. It is between the Governor and the President, and the constitution,” said Subramanian Swamy (CNN-News18)
■ 10.55am: Palanisamy and senior ministers left golden bay resort and are headed to Raj Bhavan. Senior AIADMK leaders to accompany Palanisamy during meeting with Tamil Nadu governor: Jaya TV. (PTI)
■ 10.40am: Governor Ch Vidayasagar Rao to meet Palanisamy and five other ministers at Raj Bhavan at 11:30am, reported CNN-News18. The party spokesperson Apshara Reddy has welcomed the development, saying “E. Palanisamy will be next chief minister. It is a great news”.