Chennai: The ruling AIADMK on Tuesday insisted that party general secretary VK Sasikala Natarajan would be sworn-in as the Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu by Thursday.
According to a report in NDTV, AIADMK leader Pandia Rajan said, "We hope to have a swearing-in tomorrow or day after,” adding that Thursday would be a ‘perfect’ day.
“We don't suspect any tension with the Central government,” he added.
State Governor CH Vidyasagar Rao is expected to return to the state on Wednesday, and is said to be consulting legal experts on whether Sasikala can become Chief Minister when an important court verdict is expected in a corruption case against her.
Vidyasagar Rao, who is in Mumbai, has no plans to go to Chennai on Tuesday, Raj Bhavan sources in Mumbai said, indicating that he could take a decision on Wednesday. Rao, who is Maharashtra Governor, is holding additional charge of Tamil Nadu.
Meanwhile, charges and counter-charges flew thick and fast between AIADMK and rebel leaders over the death of J Jayalalithaa.
With the Supreme Court expected to deliver its verdict in the disproportionate assets case against Sasikala and others next week, political uncertainty grew as opposition parties attacked the move to elevate her as Chief Minister and the AIADMK coming out in strong defence of her.
But trouble is brewing within the AIADMK camp with senior leader PH Pandian on Tuesday claiming that late Chief Minister Jayalalithaa’s death was suspicious, and that Sasikala must be probed for it.
"I heard that Jayalalithaa was pushed and when she came to the hospital she was not in a good state. Probe Sasikala’s conduct,” he said.
The AIADMK veteran also alleged that the late Chief Minister had suspected that she would be poisoned. "We had assured that we will never let that happen," he said.
On Monday, a panel of doctors cleared the air on suspicions surrounding the demise of Jayalalithaa.
Pandian and his son Manoj Pandian also strongly opposed the elevation of V K Sasikala, saying she does not have the locus standi to either be the party chief or Chief Minister.
"Sasikala does not deserve to be either the party supremo or the Chief Minister," PH Pandian told reporters in Chennai, two days after Sasikala was elected AIADMK Legislature Party leader, paving the way for her becoming the chief minister.
Pandian said within 20 days of the demise of Jayalalithaa, party leaders were "made to say" that they wanted Sasikala to be the party chief.
Strongly opposing her elevation as AIADMK chief, Pandian said it was against party rules. "Only cadres can elect the general secretary," he said.
Referring to late Jayalalithaa's properties, Pandian claimed that in 1996 Jayalalithaa had made a public declaration that all her properties should go to the people.
Explaining party rules in detail, Manoj Pandian said Sasikala's elevation as party chief was improper and it went against party norms.
Manoj claimed that in 2011 when Sasikala was readmitted into the party after being expelled, Jayalalithaa had told him that she will not involve her in politics.
"Violating party bylaws, one cannot become general secretary. If it was done, it is not sustainable," Pandian said.
He alleged that "we were betrayed," and by trampling on "our rights" Sasikala had become the general secretary which he was "opposing" strongly.
Pandian's outburst against Sasikala comes days after former Minister KP Munusamy's open dissent against her.
On February 6, he had hit out at Sasikala for making a "backdoor entry" to the Chief Minister's post and questioned why O Panneerselvam made way for her despite being the "preferred choice" of late Jayalalithaa.
"Sasikala does not deserve, she is ineligible to take charge as either party general secretary or chief Minister," Pandian said and also made some allegations on Sasikala and her family's business interests.
Pandian alleged that Sasikala and her family members were expelled from the party by Jayalalithaa in 2011 for "plotting" to become Chief Minister by unseating 'Amma'.
AIADMK however rubbished the allegations, saying these were 'canards spread by disgruntled elements' that are not to be taken seriously.
Party spokesperson CR Saraswathi said, “ AIADMK has done everything according to law and we are waiting for a word from the governor for the swearing-in.”...