Sentiment for Jayalalithaa overwhelms O Paneerselvam election

Sources said OPS told his MLA colleagues that Amma would surely 'return very soon'

Chennai: Most people who had gathered in the large hall on the first floor of the AIADMK headquarters in Royapettah here on Sunday cried for a full 15 minutes when the legislators’ meeting began at about 3.30 in the evening to elect the new leader. Former social welfare minister B Valarmathi was caught on TV screens sobbing even as she climbed the steps to reach the meeting hall. Colleague Gokula Indira cried even more, so did everyone else there.

Even O Panneerselvam wiped his eyes and choked now and then while addressing the gathering. He told them that Amma’s instruction was to carry out the administration of the state just as they had done in a similar difficult situation in September 2001.

Sources said OPS told his MLA colleagues that Amma would surely “return very soon to guide us and the state of Tamil Nadu” after succeeding in her appeal against the special court conviction. “Amma is our niranthara muthalvar, niranthar pothu cheyalaalar (permanent CM, permanent general secretary of the party)”, he told the audience.

Former minister Natham Viswanathan was the next to speak. He said all the MLAs should remain in Chennai for the next two to three days, just in case the Governor wished to physically verify the support to OPS, handpicked by Amma to be the leader of her team to administer the state in her short-time absence.

It took a while for all the 149 MLAs present to sign on the letter to the Governor telling him that Panneerselvam had been elected their leader. The meeting was attended by legislators and other leaders, who had gone there to show solidarity in this hour of crisis.

A they dispersed, they avoided mediapersons who had gathered in large numbers. It was mentioned that OPS would go to the Raj Bhavan in a couple of hours, after Rahu Kalam, along with senior colleagues to present the party legislators’ resolution electing him as the leader and to request him to swear in the new government.

( Source : dc )
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