CHENNAI -- A day after alleging that he was forced to resign as Tamil Nadu Chief Minister, O Panneerselvam said that a Commission of Inquiry headed by a Supreme Court judge will be appointed to probe the death of AIADMK supremo and his predecessor J Jayalalithaa.
In what amounts to a rebellion, he said he will prove his strength in the assembly and that he has the support of at least 50 MLAs.
"I have not and will never betray the party. I will withdraw my resignation, if given an opportunity to do so and the MLAs will prove their support in the Assembly. I'm merely following the footsteps of former chief minister Jayalalithaa and I never went against her wishes," said Panneerselvam who was flanked by Kavundampalayam MLA V.C. Aaru kutty and Rajya Sabha MP Maitreyan.
He said he is willing to take Jayalalithaa's niece Deepa Jayakumar's support if she offers it to him. Jayakumar was opposed to Sasikala's appointment as Tamil Nadu Chief Minister. Panneerselvam said, "I have always had respect for Amma's brother's children. I will give Deepa the respect she needs. I will prove majority and lead people."
He said he will meet Governor C.H. Vidyasagar Rao and the Speaker alone to convene the assembly session soon.
"Amma remained chief minister for nearly 16 years. I happened to become chief minister only twice, all this was the wish of Amma. I have always followed Amma's path and will continue to do so," Panneerselvam said.
He also asserted that Sasikala Natarajan will remain the interim General Secretary of AIADMK. He added that proper elections need to be held to replace the current temporary secretary.
Panneerselvam on 7 Februuary said he was humiliated by his own party members and had been forced to resign as chief minister of the state. He also said that he was willing to withdraw his resignation, if the people want him back.
Declaring his support to Panneerselvam, rebel AIADMK leader P.H. Pandiya said, "There is a need to safeguard Panneerselvam. He cannot be removed from any position."
He further alleged that Sasikala is only interested in accumulating wealth.
(With inputs from ANI)
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