Ottakarathevar Panneerselvam

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Political career

O. Panneerselvam vs Sasikala

O Panneerselvam revolts against VK Sasikala: 10 points, Feb 8, 2017: The Times of India


In a dramatic development in Tamil Nadu, ‘caretaker’ chief minister O Panneerselvam dropped a bombshell, saying he was forced to resign and propose All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazakham (AIADMK) General Secretary VK Sasikala's name to the top elected post in the state.

1. O Panneerselvam on Tuesday went to Jayalalithaa memorial+ , meditated for over half an hour. Later, he accused VK Sasikala's camp of pressurising him to step down from the chief minister post. "I am saying these facts in front of you to make things clear in public. I will continue to struggle. I will take back my resignation if people, MLAs want," Panneerselvam had said.

2. Panneerselvam also said Sasikala and her supporters got annoyed with the success of his government on issues like jallikattu protests+ , mitigating of drinking water crisis in Chennai, setting right the damage caused by Vardah cyclone.

3. VK Sasikala soon after the emergency meet with party MLAs, addressed a press conference. She alleged that the main opposition Dravida Munnetra Kazakham (DMK) was behind O Panneerselvam's revolt+ against her and asserted that all the party MLAs are with her and hence there is "no problem" in her becoming the Tamil Nadu Chief Minister.

4. Panneerselvam was also removed from the post of party treasurer and would also be removed from AIADMK's primary membership, Sasikala announced.

5. Soon after being removed from the post of AIADMK treasurer by party General Secretary VK Sasikala, Chief Minister O Panneerselvam said no one had the right to do so and rubbished her claims that DMK was behind his moves.

6. DMK Working President MK Stalin too extended support for Panneerselvam and said that action should be taken against those who had threatened him to resign from the post of Tamil Nadu Chief Minister.

7. As soon as Paneerselvam concluded his explosive press conference on Marina Beach, he had already become hero for netizens+ cutting across party lines. Appreciating Paneerselvam's declaration, DMK MLA from Chepauk-Triplicane J Anbazhagan tweeted congratulated him for his bold speech while joint secretary of the AIADMK IT wing Hari Prabhakaran tweeted in support of OPS, saying that he was not afraid of being removed from his post.

8. Sasikala is already waiting for the Supreme Court's verdict in the 20-year-old disproportionate assets case involving late former chief minister of Tamil Nadu J Jayalalithaa. A positive judgment will solidify Sasikala's standing as Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu, whereas a conviction will come as a blow to her run to the CM's chair.

9. Panneerselvam is in no mood to surrender as he has again lashed out at VK Sasikala in the last 12 hours. "There have been doubts about Amma's death. An investigation commission headed by a retired judge is needed to look Amma's death as it is the duty of a government to eliminate doubts of people. We will constitute an inquiry committee. The committee will submit its report to the high court, and the report will be made public," he said on Wednesday.

10. Veteran ADMK leader PH Pandian claimed that Sasikala's elevation was against party norms, saying she didn't have the locus standi to either be the party chief or chief minister. "Within 20 days after the demise of Jayalalithaa, party leaders were made to say that they wanted Sasikala to be the party chief and added that it was against party rules. Only cadres can elect the general secretary," Pandian had said.

Panneerselvam spoke up atlast -wondered how any one tolerate so much insult-the only qualification sasikala claim is that she was jayalalitha s ayah- how dignified and wise people of tamilnadu are ... Read More Radhakrishnan Potekatte P

February 2017/ Change in political dynamics in his favour

How O Panneerselvam became a hero overnight, Feb 9, 2017: The Times of India


The caretaker CM has emerged from the shadows and become a hero of sorts

Political observer Sathyamurthy said the sentiment in favour of OPS wasn’t unexpected

Panneerselvam started trending as a hero on social media

In less than a day, O Panneerselvam has gone from being a compliant deputy to a man who's seized the moment. There may still be questions about who is pulling the strings this time, but there's no doubt that the caretaker chief minister has emerged from the shadows and become a hero+ of sorts. On Tuesday night, an hour after his outburst, around 300 people gathered at his residence on Greenways Road. They rallied behind Panneerselvam as they felt he was 'Amma's' rightful heir. All of them found a voice in Panneerselvam - of dissent and hope+ .

"I saw OPS speak on television and came here to see him," said S Maheshwari. Policemen, who tried to contain the crowd, gave in and let them inside the bungalow. As the crowd in front of Panneerselvam's bungalow swelled, he stepped out at intervals to greet them. It seemed to work: "Dei, I am at the chief minister's house. He is right next to me!" a boy shouted on his mobile.

Panneerselvam started trending as a hero on social media. While on the ground the public seemed to back him, up the echelons he garnered support that cut across party lines. DMK legislator from Chepauk-Triplicane J Anbazhagan tweeted in favour of the chief minister, congratulating him for his bold speech, while joint secretary of the AIADMK I-T wing Hari Prabhakaran tweeted in support of him. Political observer Sathyamurthy said the sentiment in favour of Panneerselvam+ wasn't unexpected. "Stories around Sasikala are negative, while the little about Panneerselvam has been positive," he said.

Then, there were those who didn't know which side to choose. They poured into the MGR memorial. Emotions ran high as people, including AIADMK party workers, prostrated and stood with their hands folded and heads bowed. Several cried out asking why Jayalalithaa had left them "orphaned", why she hadn't chosen a political heir and how her two aides were "tarnishing her legacy".

"Tell us what to do?" asked a woman, clutching a handful of flowers. "It is over. The state is doomed," said a man next to her.

February 2017/ Rift between AIDMK leaders

O Panneerselvam versus VK Sasikala: 10 key developments, Feb 9, 2017: The Times of India

Tamil Nadu's caretaker chief minister O Panneerselvam ordered an inquiry into the death of his mentor J Jayalalithaa, intensifying a high-stakes revolt against AIADMK general secretary VK Sasikala whose potential elevation to the top post has sparked a political crisis in the state. Panneerselvam said the investigation into the death of Jayalalithaa will be headed by a retired high court judge. Jayalalithaa suffered a heart attack and passed away on December 5 after spending 75 days in hospital.


The rift between AIADMK leaders, Panneerselvam and Sashikala party deepens and party MLAs are made to choose sides between the two. In order to keep her loyal members together, Sasikala takes 130 MLAs in three buses to an undisclosed location. According to sources, the MLAs have been taken to a luxurious hotel near the airport in Chennai until governor arrives in the state capital.

Panneerselvam lacks support

Sasikala needs the support of 117 MLAs to prove her majority during a floor test in the Assembly and she has more than enough. Where will Panneerselvam get these numbers from? Unless 14 Sasikala loyalists ditch her or OPS has a silent majority that will rise up for him. OPS has support in single digits - 4 or 5 at the max and yet insists that he will win the floor test.

OPS blocks AIADMK bank accounts

On Wednesday, OPS claiming to be AIADMK treasurer wrote to two banks here not to allow anyone else to operate the party's accounts. In separate letters to the two banks he said that under the relevant party laws, he continued to be the AIADMK treasurer. "In accordance with Bye law 20, sub-clause 5 in the party constitution in continuance of my appointment as treasurer of AIADMK party by puratchi thalaivi amma, I request you not to permit anyone else to operate our AIADMK party's current account without my written consent and instructions," he said in the letters. The letters were addressed to the Chief Managers of Karur Vysya bank and Bank of India.

Sasikala unhappy

AIADMK general secretary VK Sasikala alleged that her swearing-in as chief minister was being deliberately delayed by the governor Vidyasagar Rao. She also accused Pannerselvam of aiding the DMK's plot. "Betrayals never win. He sat next to me and spoke. If he lied after 48 hours, what had happened in the meantime? Whom did he hold discussions with? As DMK's Duraimurugan spoke in the assembly (extending open support to OPS to complete his full term), was there any other means that were exchanged? Was he lured?" she said.

Governor returns

Governor Vidyasagar Rao will be reaching Chennai today afternoon. Both parties are bracing for a floor test but Rao can choose when that should be. If the Governor waits it out and the Supreme Court verdict finds Sasikala guilty in the disproportionate assets case, it's end of the road for Sasikala. The case was filed in 1996 after BJP leader Subramanian Swamy filed a complaint against Jayalalithaa. Jayalalithaa was booked under the Prevention of Corruption Act, 1996, for allegedly amassing unaccounted wealth. Sasikala is accused No. 2 in the case.

BJP talks tough on crisis

BJP said that the power tussle going on in the AIADMK party is costing the people of state, adding that even late chief minister J Jayalalithaa would not have wanted this to happen. "Clearly this is an internal matter for the AIADMK and this kind feud causes lots of inconvenience to the people of Tamil Nadu and surely Jayalalithaa Ji would not have wanted that and she always wanted the stable government as that was always in her vision plan," BJP leader Shaina NC told ANI. Congress targets BJP

The Congress has come down heavily on BJP for trying to fish in "troubled waters" and meddling in the state's internal affairs. Accusing the BJP of trying to influence the Governor to put a stay on his visit to Chennai, the Congress has asserted that the ruling dispensation was behaving in a downright "unconstitutional and illegal" manner. "They did so in Uttarakhand and lost badly when Supreme Court passed strictures. They again did it in Arunachal Pradesh and again strictures were passed. AIAMDK is the rival of the Congress but the truth is that the majority lies with AIAMDK. You cannot misuse the office of governor by using him like a puppet to destabilize the elected governor of Tamil Nadu," Surjewala told ANI.

Resignation in February 2017

Mayilvaganan V, OPS: The perpetual puppet in TN realpolitik, Feb 6, 2017: The Times of India

 O Panneerselvam, TN's chaiwallah-turned-leader, has stepped down as chief minister for the third time, continuing to carry the image of a “puppet chief minister“ warming the seat for others.

Panneerselvam sent a letter to TN governor Vidyasagar Rao on Sunday , stating he was tendering his resignation due to personal reasons. This was not unexpected from the 65-year-old politician, who has come to be known for his humility and loyalty .

Man Friday of late chief minister Jayalalithaa, OPS first became CM in 2001 when Supreme Court barred Jayalalithaa from holding the post.He quit without any fuss after six months when Jaya was ready to take charge. Again he was made CM in 2014 when Jaya was convicted in the disproportionate assets case, only to quit seven months later.

This time he was CM for two months, but it could be said that the people saw glimpses of how a OPS, acting alone, would be as TN's CM. With Jayalalithaa no longer around to guide him (back then every file would be vetted by Jaya before OPS as CM signed them), OPS had to do his job alone with the help of advisers like Sheela Balakrishnan.

OPS attempted to assert himself as CM despite pressure from ministers in his own cabinet urging for Sasikala to take over. Many said the independence he showed indicated his eagerness to hold on to the CM's post and he lacked political shrewdness to take on his challengers and become a power centre.

In the last three months, OPS managed to get appreciation from opposition and was credited with ushering in a new political culture. The assembly session passed off smoothly without the usual ruckus or walkout by DMK members.“He had BJP's tacit backing, a large section of cadres were behind him, and even public opinion was in favour of him. But he chose not to take on Sasikala,“ said a member.

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