OPS attends office after a week; SC to issue DA case order Tuesday

O Panneerselvam at the Secretariat in Chennai
A week after the internal revolt in ruling All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (AIADMK) started, Attorney General Mukul Rohatgi has suggested the Tamil Nadu Governor C Vidyasagar Rao to hold composite floor test within a week in the Assembly to show which faction of the ruling party has the majority. The Supreme Court verdict on the disproportionate asset case in which V K Sasikala, general secretary of AIADMK is involved, is scheduled to come on Tuesday.

The Supreme Court order on the case is percieved to have its importance in the ongoing political crisis in Tamil Nadu, as the prospects of Sasikala forming a government in Tamil Nadu depends on the verdict.

On Monday, after uncertainty for almost seven days, Rohatgi has shared his opinion to the Governor that he can hold the floor test within a week, in the backdrop of the Supreme Court Judgement, according to reports. While this is only a suggestion to the Governor, the recommendation seems to be the first response from the Centre towards the ongoing crisis in Tamil Nadu, which has also started affecting the activities of the government.

Chief Minister O Panneerselvam, heading the caretaker government in the state, after he has submitted his resignation on February 5, went to his office in the secretariat and restarted his work on Monday afternoon. It may be noted that the Chief Minister and the council of ministers were not in action from Tuesday, after Panneerselvam alleged that he was forced to resign from the position. This is expected to take a toll on the budget presentation, which is expected to take place in the end of February.

Besides, other measures for the smooth operaitions in the state, which is facing a drought this year, also would be affected if the issue related to who will form the government is addressed at the earliest.

At the office, the Chief Minister held discussions with the Chief Secretary Girija Vaidyanathan and DGP T K Rajendran regarding the law and order situation and the administrative issues. He was accompanied by K Pandiarajan, school education minister, the only minister to join the Panneerselvam camp after the tussle between Panneerselvam and Sasikala started last week.

On the other hand, Sasikala, who has for the third consecutive day visited the Golden Bay resort, near Chennai, where almost 119 MLAs are staying ever since the crisis started and an MLAs meeting was held in the AIADMK headquarters in Chennai, last week. She also spoke to the reporters in various places, raising allegations against Panneerselvam and recollecting her days with J Jayalalithaa, the late supreme leader of AIADMK.

She said that the Supreme Court verdict is a different issue and cannot be read with the ongoing delay by the Governor in inviting her to form the government, even though she has claimed majority in the Assembly. A petition was filed by an individual against the Governor in the Supreme Court, against the delay in calling Sasikala to form the government. Sasikala said that her faction will form the government and will place Jayalalithaa's picture in the Assembly building.

As on Monday, Sasikala claims to have the support of 128 MLAs and around 28 MPs, while Panneerselvam faction have six MLAs and 11 MPs including nine from the Lok Sabha. There are a total of 234 Assembly seats in Tamil Nadu and it require 118 members to form government. The opposition party Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam has 89 members and its ally Indian National Congress has eight members in the Assembly, while Indian Union Muslim League has one member, while another member is the Speaker of the Assembly. One seat is lying vacant after the demise of Jayalalithaa.

Meanwhile, Madurai South MLA Saravanan and Madurai MP Gopalakrishnan have joined the Panneerselvam camp. Saravanan said he had to escape from the resort in Kuvathur where Sasikala is alleged to have held MLAs 'hostage'. He said Panneerselvam will be the CM and it's 'inevitable'

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