Governor C Vidyasagar Rao on Thursday invited AIADMK legislator party leader and Sasikala's proxy Edapaddi K Palanisamy to form the government in Tamil Nadu, putting an end to long-drawn battle to throne vacated after former CM Jayalithaa's demise.
However, outgoing CM Panneerselvam has said that he will continue the 'fight' untill the Amma's rule is not established. Meanwhile, opposition party DMK has raised doubts on the fact that CM-designate Palanisamy has been given 15 days for floor test by the Governor.
All eyes were on the Governor over the swearing-in of the new Tamil Nadu Chief Minister after Edapaddi K Palanisamy and rival O Panneerselvam met him with claims of majority support of AIADMK MLAs.
The power struggle for the chief minister’s chair, left vacant by Jayalalithaa’s demise, shifted from OPS vs Chinnamma to OPS vs Palanisamy, when Sasikala was sentenced to four years of imprisonment in 20-year-old disproportionate assets case on February 14. But before going away Sasikala appointed Palanisamy her proxy.
Here are the live updates:
O Panneerselvam camp meets Election Commission officials: Reports
Most of the ministers under O Panneerselvam to be retained
AIADMK leaders reach Raj Bhavan for Tamil Nadu cabinet and CM-designate E Palanisamy's oath ceremony
Chennai: AIADMK leaders reach Raj Bhavan for Tamil Nadu cabinet and CM-designate E. Palanisamy's oath ceremony. pic.twitter.com/PXY5mBAUqK— ANI (@ANI_news) February 16, 2017
31-member Tamil Nadu cabinet to be sworn-in at 4.30 PM: Raj Bhavan
30 MLAs to take oath with E Palanisamy
31 ministers including Tamil Nadu CM E. Palanisamy to take oath today. pic.twitter.com/Jlt5tQcOuf— ANI (@ANI_news) February 16, 2017
Now, we'll go back to our party supporters & discuss as to who'll lead the party next: S Semmalai, AIADMK (OPS supporter)
Many MLAs will support only Amma's rule and not rule of a family: K Pandiarajan, AIADMK (OPS supporter)
Dr V Maitreyan along with 18 senior leaders of OPS camp will meet Election Commission shortly
7 members including Dr v Maiteeyan have reached at EC HQ
Why 15 days have been given to CM to prove his majority? Governor himself is not confident: TKS Elangovan, DMK MP
We'll continue with our 'dharm yudh' until Amma's rule is established: O Panneerselvam
The list of Council of Ministers in the Cabinet headed by Edappadi K Palanisami will be submitted to Governor shortly
We will not let the party (AIADMK) go into the hands of few of VK Sasikala's family members: #OPanneerselvam
- Not divided there are no factions only O Panneerselvam is apart and his question shouldn't arise because he isn't party member: M Thambidurai
- Except that O Panneerselvam all 134 MLAs are with us. I've learnt swearing-in will be around 4-4.30pm: M Thambidurai, AIADMK Senior Leader
This is people's victory, we will carry forward Amma's legacy in the coming days: AIADMK Senior Leader M Thambidurai
Thambidurai (Lok Sabha Dy Speaker) and OS Manian holding discussion with MLA
Sasikala lawyers Senthil and Bharani are waiting outside Parapana Agragaram Jail to pass on the information of Edappadi being appointed as CM by Governor
Tamil Nadu Minister D Jayakumar says swearing in ceremony of Edappadi K. Palanisamy as CM, will be held later this evening
OPS camp MP Maithreyan to meet CEC Nazim Zaidi at 2:45 pm against Sasikala's appointment as General Secretary
AIADMK MLAs hail decision of Governor; raise pro-Sasikala slogans
Governor appoints Edappadi K. Palanisamy as CM of Tamil Nadu, asks him to seek vote of confidence in 15 days: Raj Bhavan statement
Palanisamy to be sworn-in as new TN chief minister as Guv invites him to form Govt
OPS holding emergency meeting with Senior leaders of OPS camp
- Thangamani, Velumani, Thalavai Sundaram, TTV Dinakaran, Dindugal Srinivasan, Sengottian are the accompanying leaders
- TN Minister Jayakumar, KA Sengottaiyan, KP Anbazhagan also part of Palanisamy delegation at Raj Bhavan
Edappadi Palanisamy reached Governor Raj Bhavan along with 11 leaders
Governor's Office says, E Palanisamy will meet Governor C Vidyasagar Rao at 11.30AM
Five member team including E Palanisamy and KA Sengottaiyan leaves from Golden Bay resort to meet Governor C.Vidyasagar Rao at Raj Bhawan
Governor invites AIADMK's legislature party leader Edapadi K Palanisamy: AIADMK
E Palanisamy to meet Governor C.Vidyasagar Rao at 12.30 pm
As of now, neither O Panneerselvam nor E Palanisamy has been called to form government: Governor House Sources
Palanisamy’s claim to CM throne:
AIADMK legislature party leader Palanisamy, who had on Tuesday called on the Governor to stake claim for forming the government, met him again on Wednesday evening, with his camp claiming support of 124 of the party’s 134 MLAs. Tamil Nadu has a 234-member legislative assembly.
Fisheries Minister D Jayakumar, who was among those who accompanied Palanisamy, claimed the group has the support of 124 MLAs.
“We have given the Governor a list of legislators supporting our legislature party leader Palanisamy. Governor told us that our representation will be considered and we are confident that democracy will be protected,” Jayakumar told reporters after the meeting.
“We have told Governor Rao that Palanisamy enjoys the support of a majority of MLAs and hence he should be invited to form the government,” he said.
Read | How Sasikala loyalist Palanisamy rose to prominence in AIADMK
Panneerselvam’s claim to CM throne:
Panneerselvam gave a representation to the Governor claiming “majority” support and seeking an opportunity to demonstrate it. The Panneerselvam camp has alleged AIADMK MLAs were held at a resort on Chennai’s outskirts against their wish.
Currently, 10 AIADMK leaders have pledged direct support to him, not counting Jayalalithaa’s niece Deepa Jayakumar, who not only joined politics but also have full support to Panneerselvam.
What were Governor's choices?
Governor Rao, who was on Monday advised by Attorney General Mukul Rohatgi to convene a special session of the Legislative Assembly within a week for holding a composite floor test, is yet to take a call on whom to invite to form the government first or to go for a trial of strength in the assembly.
The Governor had earlier kept his decision pending as the verdict in the disproportionate assets case against AIADMK general secretary VK Sasikala, a claimant for chief ministership, was due to be announced by the Supreme Court, which delivered it yesterday, restoring her conviction and sentence, which shattered her hopes of occupying the top seat.
While O Panneerselvam has managed to win over 10 odd MPs and some MLAs, Sasikala has been able to rally the support of an overwhelming majority of AIADMK MLAs.
Though Panneerselvam does not have the explicit support of a very large number of MLAs, he has been insisting he would prove majority on the floor of the House if asked to do so.It remains to be seen whether the Governor goes by the AG’s advice for a floor test by the two competing claimants for chief ministership or invites Palanisamy to form the government.
Read Expert view | With Sasikala's ‘endgame’, all eyes now on Governor Vidyasagar Rao
Sasikala’s last ditch effort to retain power in AIADMK
Before she began serving the remnant three years, 10 months and 27 days sentence in a Karnataka prison this evening, in a surprise move, Sasikala re-inducted her close relatives T T V Dinkaran and S Venkatesh into the party, five years after their expulsion by AIADMK supremo and the then chief minister J Jayalalithaa.
Sasikala appointed Dinakaran, her nephew and former Rajya Sabha member, the deputy general secretary of AIADMK, a move seen by many as an attempt to hand over the party’s control to him till her return from jail.
There were rumblings in the party over Dinakaran’s appointment, with senior AIADMK leader V Karuppasamy Pandian resigning as the party’s organisation secretary.
An angry Pandian went to the extent of questioning Sasikala’s authority of reinducting people expelled by Jayalalithaa, and asking if AIADMK was her “family property”.
While re-admitting Dinakaran and Venkatesh into the party, Sasikala said the two had tendered an apology for their actions.
(With Inputs from PTI)