Sasikala misconstrued my praise for OPS: Duraimurugan

DMK leader says he would prefer Panneerselvam as Chief Minister

Published - February 11, 2017 07:17 am IST



While addressing the House, Mr. Panneerselvam said the DMK was opposing his government in spite of the good schemes implemented by it. He complained that we refused to understand his efforts. I responded to him saying that the DMK wished the continuation of his government. I also said we would not disrupt his government and the DMK would not pose any threat to his Chief Ministership.

Whatever I said is in the Assembly records. At that time, we did not know that Mr. Panneerselvam would resign his Chief Minister post and Ms. Sasikala would be elected as the Legislature Party leader of the AIADMK in the place of Mr. Panneerselvam. We have not said anything against Ms. Sasikala since she was not in the picture at all. Who is going to be the Chief Minister is the inner party issue of the AIADMK and we are not bothered about it. But Ms. Sasikala has misconstrued my comments as a threat to the AIADMK and sought to occupy the seat of the Chief Minister.

But it appears as if the DMK has taken a clear stand in favour of Mr. Panneerselvam…

When you compare Mr. Panneerselvam with Ms. Sasikala, he makes a better Chief Minister. Forget my position (as a DMK leader). As a citizen of Tamil Nadu, I would take pride in voting for Mr. Panneerselvam. He has functioned as the Chief Minister of the State thrice; and as Finance Minister, he had presented five budgets and was going to present the sixth one. He has rich experience even in the opposition and handled many important portfolios and gained enormous knowledge about administration. Above all, he is a politician, whereas Ms, Sasikala is not.

As the Deputy Leader of the Opposition in the Assembly, what do you expect from the Tamil Nadu Governor at this juncture?

The Governor should take steps to conduct a floor test in the Assembly to ascertain who has the support of the majority of MLAs. It is immaterial who is going to win the support of majority of the MLAs. Media reports say that many MLAs are being held hostage (by the Sasikala camp). The administration in Tamil Nadu has been totally paralysed. Unless the Governor intervenes and restores normalcy, the crisis will deepen.

There is an allegation that the BJP government at the Centre was behind the political developments in Tamil Nadu…

I have no knowledge about it.

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