There's never a dull day in Tamil Nadu politics. Even as AIADMK General Secretary VK Sasikala staunchly maintained that the 100 legislators supporting her, who are currently cloistered at the Golden Resorts near Mahabalipuram, are not held against their will, one MLA made a daring dash for freedom on Monday after scaling a wall.
The escape of SS Saravanan, who represents Madurai South, is ironical given how the Tamil Nadu Police submitted a report to the Madras High Court yesterday claiming that the legislators supporting Sasikala were not being held captive. Sasikala herself has said several times that they are there of their own free will.
Saravanan, who made a beeline for acting chief minister O. Panneerselvam's house, said he had to disguise himself to escape.
"I am an engineer by profession, and I devised ways to escape from the resort. There are many other MLAs who are affected emotionally and physically."
What makes this more dramatic is that Sasikala had decided to spend the night at the resort. However, even before she arrived, the MLA escaped.
"I am an engineer by profession, and I devised ways to escape from the resort. There are many other MLAs who are affected emotionally and physically. All are ready to switch camps and soon it will happen," Saravanan told the press at Panneerselvam's house amid much cheering and applause.
Echoing Sasikala's own comment of being a lioness in Tamil politics, Saravanan said he was only a cat. There were "many lions in the resort who want to joins the OPS camp". The MLAs were allowed contact with the outside world through social media and Saravanan said he constantly replied to his followers on social media pledging support for Panneerselvam.
"It is not just me, all the MLAs will come here only. I will be caged forever under Sasikala (if he did not escape when he did)", the Hindustan Times quoted him as saying as loud cheers went up at Panneerselvam's house.
Meanwhile, The News Minute reported that many of the restrictions imposed on the MLAs have been relaxed since Sunday. They are spending their time swimming in the pool, eating, and watching TV. A medical camp has been organised at the resort for those who have diabetes and high blood pressure.