O Panneerselvam on Tuesday alleged he was forced to resign as Tamil Nadu chief minister and support Sasikala for the post amid a growing opposition to her.
The caretaker CM, who resigned on Sunday, made the after paying homage to the former chief minister J Jayalalithaa at her memorial on Chennai’s Marina Beach.
“At the Sunday meeting of MLAs, I was forced to tender my resignation,” Panneerselvam said adding “that I was not even told the agenda of the MLAs meeting before I went there.
“A chief minister should have the support from the ground, whoever it is,” Pannerselvam said, adding that it need not be OPS but it can be anyone. “I will fight for this till my end, even if I am alone,” he said just before winding up his brief interaction with the media after his prayers.
OPS declared that he had been pressurised into quitting as he was becoming successful in running the state and government.
Few ministers were openly disobeying him and running him down, he said.
It all started as a silent sit-in in front of Amma memorial for little over half an hour. Tears rolled down his eyes before he got up. He wiped his tears, prostrated and got up. And then he got ready for the army of media present at the memorial.
He began by saying that the ‘atma’ of Amma (Amma’s soul) was asking him to tell some truths to the people of Tamil Nadu.
“I came to pay respects to Amma. My consience was hurt. Some truths have to be told to the people of Tamil Nadu. The atma of Jayalalithaa asked me to reveal truths to people of Tamil Nadu, which is why I am standing here. During the treatment of Jayalalithaa at Apollo Hospital and she deteriorated, the party and the government needed to be saved. In that state, I was met with and requested to take charge but I said Selvi Jayalalithaa was still being treated. I asked them what was the hurry. I was told that an emergency decision was to be taken.
I was asked to save the party and the government, and which is why I took over as chief minister.
“It is the spirit of Amma that has guided by me. Amma told me assistant general secretary Madhusudan should be the general secretary,” he said.
After two or three days of being the chief minister, I was told that general secretary should be Chinnamma by minister Vijayabhaskar. I called all leaders to my house and got them to agree to this. We all went to Chinnamma and requested her to become the general secretary,” he said.
A few days after Jayalalithaa’ death Cyclone Vardah came and we were busy with rescue work. After that in Tamil Nadu we got a good name as we walked on the path she had trained us for. Drinking water crisis of Chennai too we tackled. In the Jallikattu problem too resolved successfully. I had gone to Delhi and met the prime minister and persuaded the centre to back Tamil Nadu for the ordinance and later bill, for which President too gave his assent.
We had an emergency session of assembly to pass the ordinance into a law, allowing Jallikattu, to which the consent of the president was received.
Even as I was asking for time from Prime Minister, Thambi Durai was also asking for time from the Prime Minister. I came and explained in the party forum.
Panneerselvam also said that “if cadres wish, I can even withdraw my resignation.”
Meanwhile, AIADMK spokesperson Apsara Reddy rubbished OPS’ claims and said that he was the chief minister because of the largesse of Amma and Chinnamma. “He does not have any MLAs with him and a disgruntled man like him can go. The AIADMK is not poorer by his loss,” she said. AIADMK continues to back Sasikala, she added.
In another late night development, all the cabinet ministers were summoned to the Poes Garden for a meeting by Sasikala.