OPS or Sasikala? Attorney General wants floor test to decide next TN CM

Order floor test to find out if Panneerselvam or Sasikala has majority, Attorney General suggests to Ch Vidyasagar Rao.

New Delhi: A week after Tamil Nadu plunged into political turmoil, Attorney General Mukul Rohatgi on Monday gave his opinion to the Tamil Nadu Governor that a special Assembly session be convened within a week for a composite floor test to determine who among the two AIADMK leaders - O Panneerselvam and V K Sasikala - enjoys majority.

Sources said that the opinion was sought by Governor Ch Vidyasagar Rao from the Attorney General who has cited the 1998 Supreme Court judgement in the Jagdambika Pal case in which the apex court had ordered a floor test in the Assembly to determine who among the two claimants -- Pal and Kalyan Singh -- had majority for chief ministership of Uttar Pradesh.

The opinion, the sources said, has stated that "he (Governor) should call a special session within a week's time and have a composite floor test as was ordered by the Supreme Court in the Jagdambika Pal case".

The opinion on floor test was given as the two claimants are from the same party and they will be pitted against each other to determine who commands majority support in the Assembly, the sources said.

Meanwhile, with no solution in sight for government formation in the state, the ruling AIADMK has asserted that a majority of its MLAs support General Secretary VK Sasikala.

Sasikala on Monday claimed that it was acting Tamil Nadu Chief Minister O Panneerselvam who asked her to take over the CM’s post after the death of Jayalalithaa.

“Panneerselvam asked me to take charge, but I said I can't, at this juncture. So he was given the responsibility,” Sasikala claimed in a speech at her Poes Garden residence in Chennai.

The AIADMK chief also stated that she ‘came to know of a conspiracy’ after Jayalalithaa’s death.

“When Amma passed away, I came to know about conspiracy being hatched to divide the party,” she said.

Sasikala said that she had ‘stood firm’ for the sake of the party despite being in ‘so much pain’ following Jayalalithaa’s death.

“All of you must know what is the truth,” she added.

For the third day in a row, Sasikala will hold 'key discussions' with party MLAs put up at a resort near here amid intense battle for power.

Sasikala left from Poes Garden and headed for the resort located at Koovathur, about 80 km from here, and will hold "key discussions" with the MLAs, party-backed Jaya TV said.

She had held discussions with her MLAs at the resort on Saturday and Sunday and stressed the need to stay united to form the government.

On February 5, Sasikala was elected as the party's Legislature Leader, a step towards her elevation as Tamil Nadu Chief Minister.

However, two days later, Panneerselvam had revolted against her, alleging that he was forced to step down for her. Support has been swelling for Panneerselvam, with a state minister and six MLAs (one of them is also a Minister) and 11 MPs switching over to his camp.

( Source : Deccan Chronicle with agency inputs )
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