After swearing-in, CM, most MLAs return to Koovathur resort

Fisheries Minister Jayakumar claims they have foiled OPS’ and DMK’s plan for fresh elections and saved the State crores of rupees

Updated - February 17, 2017 08:18 am IST

Published - February 17, 2017 08:16 am IST - KANCHEEPURAM

Chief Minsiter Edappadi K. Palaniswami arriving at the Golden Bay Resorts in Koovathur.

Chief Minsiter Edappadi K. Palaniswami arriving at the Golden Bay Resorts in Koovathur.

A majority of the AIADMK MLAs belonging to the Sasikala camp returned to the Golden Bay Resorts in Koovathur after attending the swearing-in of Edappadi K. Palaniswami and his ministers on Thursday evening.

Earlier, the legislators, who claimed that they were voluntarily staying there since February 8, had said that they would vacate the resort and return to their respective constituencies once the Governor invited Mr, Palaniswami to form the government.

In fact, Mr. Palaniswami too returned to the resort after being sworn-in as the 13th Chief Minister of the State. The AIADMK’s newly appointed deputy general secretary T.T.V. Dinakaran had reached a few minutes before him.

Neither of them interacted with waiting journalists. En route Koovathur, off ECR and 80 km from Chennai, the CM also dropped in at another resort where a few other MLAs are staying.

Though it betrayed a lack of comfort in numbers, the ministers insisted they had returned for other reasons. “This is all your imagination. Including ministers, we have come of our own volition,” said Forest Minister Dindigul C. Srinivasan.

The minister said they were at the resort because of the ambience. “I have been abroad and have lived in ten-star hotels, seven-star hotels. I haven’t seen such a peaceful location. This is a super place. We are all together there. There is no problem!” he said.

Earlier in the day, MLAs and Ministers abandoned the three buses that had plied them to the resort; instead, they travelled in cars to the Raj Bhavan. AIADMK men who were guarding the gates to the resort said that the MLAs had returned because their bags and relatives were still in their rooms. “We have been here for a while. Our luggage and other things are here. This is not a permanent place, after all. We are united here,” said Mr. Srinivasan

In a brief statement, Fisheries Minister D. Jayakumar claimed that they had saved the State a lot of money. “OPS (former Chief Minister Panneerselvam) and along with him the DMK wanted elections in Tamil Nadu. The people of this State and their representatives have put a stop to that. An election would cost ₹1,000 crore of people’s tax money. Because of the grace of Idayadeivam Puratchi Thalaivi Amma (Jayalalithaa), that money has been saved today,” he said.

Police continue inquiry

The Kanchipuram District Police conducted an inquiry on Thursday among the MLAs in connection with the complaint lodged by Madurai (South) MLA S.Saravanan who alleged that the legislators were being held against their will.

Speaking to The Hindu, Kanchipuram Superintendent of Police J. Mutharasi said: “Our officers conducted investigations for the second day on Thursday. We recorded statements of the legislators who are camping at the resort. We can not reveal details about what they stated.”

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