Chennai: A day after the AIADMK leadership expelled over a dozen functionaries, who were in touch with the party’s former interim general secretary V K Sasikala, she continued to fish for supporters on Tuesday.
Continuing her strategy of calling up “supporters” in the AIADMK and “leaking” their taped telephonic conversation, Sasikala, in one of the audio tapes, claimed that O Panneerselvam, now party coordinator, had voluntarily resigned as Chief Minister in February 2017.
“Had he not resigned, I would have retained him [in the post],” she claimed to Sivanesan, a cadre hailing from Panneerselvam’s hometown Theni.
Panneerselvam, who had put in his papers and proposed Sasikala as the leader of AIADMK Legislature Party so that she could succeed him as Chief Minister, had a few days thereafter rebelled against her. He had then alleged that he was humiliated and forced to resign and even staked claim to form the Government informing then Governor Vidyasagar Rao that the resignation was extracted from him.
Sasikala’s made claim that she would not have disturbed Panneerselvam when Sivanesan said that had Panneerselvam not quit she may not have had to undertake ‘vanavasam’ (being jailed in a disproportionate assets case in which her friend and former CM Jayalalithaa was prime accused.)
However, observers said that it was Sasikala who had asked Panneerselvam to resign as she was apprehensive that he might emerge as a strong leader on his own. At that time Sasikala was the party leader.
In many other audio clips released during the day, she kept telling the people at the other end that she would definitely tour the State post-COVID and take the party in the right direction.