Tamil Nadu

‘OPS had resigned voluntarily’

Chennai: Expelled AIADMK leader VK Sasikala after paying floral tribute to former Tamil Nadu Chief Minister late J Jayalalithaa on her birth anniversary, at her residence in Chennai, Wednesday,, Feb. 24, 2021. (PTI Photo)(PTI02_24_2021_000102B)  

Former interim general secretary of the AIADMK V.K. Sasikala on Tuesday said the party coordinator, O. Panneerselvam, had resigned “voluntarily” as Chief Minister in February 2017.

“Had he not done that, I would have retained him [as CM],” she said, in response to observations of her supporter, Sivanesan of Theni, who was heard telling her that “If Ayya [Mr. Panneerselvam] had not quit then, he would even have prevented you from undertaking vanavasam [her going to a Bengaluru jail to serve a four-year-long sentence].”

An audio clip of the tele conversation between Ms. Sasikala and Mr. Sivanesan was released by her office. It was one of nine audio clips that were made available to the media during the day.

[On February 7, 2017, Mr. Panneerselvam, a few days after announcing his decision to step down from the post and proposing Ms. Sasikala as leader of the AIADMK Legislature party, told reporters that he was “compelled” to quit.]

In her conversation, Ms. Sasikala, referring to the AIADMK leadership expelling several of its members on Monday for having spoken to her, wondered what was “the point in going on sacking party workers” and whether this was the way to treat those “who have worked for the party sincerely”.

In another conversation, she expressed surprise over the expulsion of V. Pugazhendhi, spokesperson of the party.

During telephonic talks with others, she said she had decided to “step aside” from politics in March as “they [alluding to the camp of former Chief Minister Edappadi K. Palaniswami] felt that they could accomplish victory in the Assembly election on their own.”

She likened the present situation to the one after the death of party founder M.G. Ramachandran in December 1987 when the cadres of the party, according to her, were completely behind Jayalalithaa and the rest functioned as a separate bloc [supporting Janaki Ramachandran].

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Printable version | Aug 5, 2021 6:52:48 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/tamil-nadu/ops-had-resigned-voluntarily/article34824955.ece

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