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Never allowed to meet Jayalalithaa even once in hospital: Panneerselvam

News Agencies | Updated on: 11 February 2017, 5:40 IST

Issuing fresh allegations, incumbent Tamil Nadu Chief Minister O. Panneerselvam on Wednesday claimed he was never allowed to meet late chief minister J. Jayalalithaa even once when she was hospitalised in the Apollo Hospitals.

"I went to Apollo for all 75 days, but never allowed to meet Amma even once," he said.

Without naming All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (AIADMK) general secretary Sasikala Natarajan, Pannerselvam blamed the former for his resignation from the post of chief minister.

Breaking his silence a day after Sasikala removed him from the party's treasurer post, Paneerselvam said, "There is a force behind everything that is happening. I don't understand her rush to become the Chief Minister. Does she not understand the situation in Tamil Nadu?"

Responding to a poser as to why Sheela Balakrishnan quit as adviser to the Tamil Nadu Government, a post to which she was appointed by Jayalalithaa, Panneerselvam said, "Can't say much about her resignation. She was already given an extension."

The events in the AIADMK unfolded minutes after Panneerselvam was removed from the post of the party's treasurer.

Sasikala waved and flashed victory sign to her supporters at her Poes Garden residence and said she had not forced Pannerselvam for anything.

Sasikala held the Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (DMK) responsible for the upheaval in their party and said she saw the opposition party leader and Pannerselvam exchanging smile and warmth in a recent assembly session.

However, the DMK hit back at the claim saying, "How can DMK be behind it? How can they blame us for their in-fight? How can we support Panneerselvam when he's in opposition? We're major party, we want to come back to power and expose AIADMK's wrongdoings."

Earlier, an emergency meeting of top AIADMK leaders was called at Sasikala's residence following Pannerselvam's surprise visit to Jayalalithaa's memorial on Marina beach in Chennai and meditation at the grave of his political guru.

Dropping unannounced at the beach, Pannerselvam yesterday set tongues wagging by meditating near his predecessor Jayalalithaa's memorial and then proceeding to tear into Sasikala.

The surprise visit set speculations rife over his decision to give up his post as Chief Minister, as many pondered if he was silently protesting against the current developments in the state or simply praying before Amma.

"There are some truths that I want to tell to my party cadre and to the people of this country. I have performed my duty without any shortcomings and carried forward path shown by Amma. When she ( Jayalalithaa) was in the hospital, she (asked me to take over as Chief Minister. I was told that I have to save the party and the state. I was given the post but was then insulted continuously," the interim Chief Minister said.

He then dropped a bombshell by proceeding to say that he was presently being forced to step down from his post and pave way for Sasikala, revealing that Revenue Minister R. B. Udhayakumar, has suggested Sasikala to take over his post.

He further went on to assert that he will even take back his resignation if party workers and the people of the state want him to.


First published: 8 February 2017, 10:13 IST