As convicted AIADMK General Secretary VK Sasikala, held guilty in 21-year old disproportionate assets case, on Wednesday was sent to Parappana Agrahara jail in Bengaluru after she surrendered before the court, the fight for domination in Tamil Nadu is far from over.
The political slugfest that was fought outside in open now shifts to Raj Bhawan in Tamil Nadu with both, her proxy Edappadi Palaniswami and O Panneerselvam claiming to become the Chief Minister after meeting with Governor C Vidyasagar Rao on Wednesday.
The Governor is expected to take a call by today evening to decide if any one of the two should be given a chance to prove their majority in the House.
Panneerselvam aides claimed he had the support of at least 40 of the 135 AIADMK MLAs, while Palaniswami enjoyed adequate backing to form a government.
The MLAs who are still lodged at Golden Bay resort have switched off their phone lines and are contained in a limited communication from outside or from the media. The legislatures said they will vacate the resort if Palaniswami told them to do so or if he was called to form a government.
Once the Supreme Court held Sasikala guilty of corruption on Tuesday, the MLAs backing Sasikala housed in Golden Bay resort elected Palaniswami as their new legislature party leader.
Before surrendering, in a desperate attempt to be still able to control the party activities, Sasikala re-inducted her nephew T T V Dinakaran and Dr Venkatesh, son of her brother Sundaravadanam, who were ousted by Jayalalithaa back in AIADMK after taking a written apology from them. They were expelled in 2011 under the charges of anti-party activities and corruption.
Sasikala appointed Dinakaran as the Deputy General Secretary of AIADMK party and asked everyone to “cooperate” with him.
She surrendered to the trial court set up in the prison along with her sister-in-law Elavarasi and nephew V.N. Sudhakaran, all of whom were held guilty along with the late Jayalalithaa by the apex court on Tuesday of having assets disproportionate to their known sources of income.
With Sasikala back in jail and no last word so far from the Governor, power tussle in Tamil Nadu is here to stay.