Pro-Sasikala MLAs get barrage of calls

Many took to social media and messaging apps on Thursday to criticise AIADMK MLAs backing V.K. Sasikala.

Updated - February 10, 2017 01:08 am IST

Published - February 10, 2017 01:07 am IST - CHENNAI:

Many took to social media and messaging apps on Thursday to criticise AIADMK MLAs backing the party’s general secretary V.K. Sasikala in her bid for Tamil Nadu Chief Ministership.

Chief Minister O. Panneerselvam has been receiving vocal support online, and MLAs in the Sasikala camp felt the ‘public resentment.’ Trolls targeted the legislators, who also received hundreds of phone calls, demanding that they take the “right decision”.

The ‘direct calls’ were the outcome of the IT wing of the Panneerselvam camp circulating the mobile numbers of AIADMK MLAs on social media platforms, asking people to call the legislators and voice their opinion.

The posts went viral and people vented their ire, provoking School Education Minister and Avadi MLA K. Pandiarajan to Tweet: “How ethical is this harassment of every Admk MLA thro trolling & spurious telecalls for the past 48 hours? We have a right to our freedom!”

Twitterati objected to his addressing the interim general secretary as ‘Chinnamma’ and ‘Amma.’ Many of them asked him to join the OPS camp, since the ‘majority of the people are against Sasikala’.

The Minister faced a fusillade of comments asking him to rethink his stand. Some said MLAs would go to any extent to enjoy the benefits of power. Mr. Pandiarajan responded: “It is not abusive but intrusive.”

Meanwhile, mobile phones of the MLAs started ringing non-stop, prompting them to switch off their phones or not take calls.

An audio clip doing the rounds on WhatsApp had a woman voter from Srirangam calling the number of her constituency MLA and Minister S. Valarmathi, urging her to take a “good decision”.

In response, the voter was told that the Minister was willing to help her with civic problems. “The party and symbol are important. OPS became a traitor once he lost the Chief Minister’s post,” was the Minister’s purported response. But the woman persisted: “I voted for you and I am pleading with you madam, not to take the wrong decision”. The MLA then cut the call.

Outside the Chennai house of Jayalalithaa’s niece Deepa Jayakumar, Rajasekar, a party functionary from Palacode, said: “My MLA is K.P. Anbalagan and he is the Higher Education Minister. But he has gone to the Sasikala group. I don’t have any faith in him. So shameless he is that he chose to fall at her feet.”

Meanwhile, the ‘I support OPS’ campaign asking people to give a missed call to a particular number received over five lakh calls on Thursday.

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