Sting' MLAs now claim channel video is fake
Chennai: A day after a TV channel featured them in a ‘sting’ that showed them, separately, speaking of pay-offs ahead of the February 18 trust vote won by incumbent Chief Minister Edappadi K. Palaniswami, AIADMK (OPS) legislator S. S. Saravanan and rival EPS group MLA 'Sulur' Kanagaraj insisted that the video footage was a fraud and threatened legal action against the channel.
Former CM O. Panneerselvam summoned Saravanan from hometown Madurai to explain his TV appearance. Emerging from an hour-long meeting with OPS Tuesday morning, Saravanan told reporters, "It's me on the video; but the voice is not mine". The voice was a trick of "mimicry, dubbed, fake voice", he said, adding that the TV footage related to "some old event, may be three month back, which I don't remember".
Saravanan also dismissed as "lies, wrong" the remarks attributed to him in the TV footage with regard to MLAs Thamimum Ansari, Karunas and Thaniyarasu. He had never even seen the (Moon TV) reporter Shah Nawaz. "I don't know who he is", he said, flanked by senior leaders C. Ponnaiayan and Natham R. Viswanathan.
The Madurai (south) MLA said he was consulting legal experts and would soon initiate legal action.
He recalled that soon after the demise of Jayalalithaa, he had participated in the meeting of the MLAs so as to lend support to efforts to safeguard the government and was taken along the others to Koovathur. "I escaped from there in disguise as I am an OPS loyalist and will remain so", Saravanan said.
It appears that 'Sulur' Kanagaraj did not have to offer any explanations to his faction bosses, yet. Speaking to reporters at native Sulur in Coimbatore, he denied having given any TV interview and threatened legal action against the channel. He had gone along with the other party MLAs to Koovathur awaiting the Governor's arrival in Chennai (for proving EPS' majority).
"Nobody offered any money or gold. I have gold bars only in cinema and TV", said the EPS loyalist.
The denials from the two rival MLAs apart, the 'sting' has provided the much-needed tonic for the opposition DMK getting its arsenal ready for the Assembly session beginning on Wednesday. The party has also approached the Madras high court seeking probe by the CBI or the DRI into the alleged payoffs for EPS's trust vote, which he won 122-11 amid eviction of main opposition DMK following unruly scenes.