Chennai: V.K. Sasikala’s supporters on Tuesday elected Edapadi K. Palanisamy as the chief minister designate, expelled her opponents and signalled that they will file a review petition against her conviction by the Supreme Court.
Senior All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (AIADMK) leaders including caretaker chief minister O. Panneerselvam were ousted from the party within hours of the apex court delivering its verdict.
Meanwhile, Panneerselvam appealed to all AIADMK legislators to take the right decision in the current context and called on them to unite for the sake of the party.
Palanisamy and other members of the legislative assembly (MLAs) are expected to request Tamil Nadu governor (additional charge) C. Vidyasagar Rao to allow them to form the government.
Also read: How Sasikala was convicted in the disproportionate assets case
“We have the majority and I’m sure the governor will call on us to form the government," said Lok Sabha deputy Speaker M. Thambidurai, who is supporting Sasikala.
School education minister K. Pandiarajan along with 10 MLAs from Panneerselvam’s camp who set off to the Golden Bay resort on the outskirts of Chennai, where Sasikala and the MLAs who support her have been staying, were blocked on the way by the police.
More riot police were deployed in and outside the resort from where Sasikala is to be taken and presented before Bengaluru civil court judge Ashok Narayanan.
The Supreme Court on Tuesday upheld a trial court order and found Sasikala guilty in an over 20-year-old disproportionate assets case and asked her to serve out the remaining part of her four-year term.
The court also directed Sasikala to surrender immediately at the trial court in Bengaluru. The ruling bars Sasikala from becoming the new chief minister of Tamil Nadu; she can’t contest an election for 10 years.
Sasikala was a close aide of late chief minister J. Jayalalithaa, who died on 5 December. Jayalalithaa too was an accused in the case of disproportionate assets.
“Whenever there was trouble for Amma, Sasikala accepted it as hers. Even now she has done the same thing," said a statement issued by the Sasikala camp after her conviction.
After the Supreme Court convicted Sasikala and her associates V.N. Sudhakaran and J. Ilavarasi in the disproportionate assets case, scenes of jubilation were witnessed at Panneerselvam’s house.
Opposition Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (DMK) party working president M. K. Stalin said that after 21 years, justice had prevailed with the conviction of Sasikala and her associates in the disproportionate assets case. “We will not support anyone to form the government," he said.