A day after alleging that he was forced to resign from the Chief Minister’s post, O Panneerselvam on Wednesday said he would prove his majority in the Assembly session, while adding he would also welcome former Tamil Nadu Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa’s niece Deepa Jayakumar to join his side.
“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 will meet Governor C 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.
Calling Sasikala Natarajan as the “temporary general secretary”, an emotional Panneerselvam said, “The Council can only appoint a temporary general secretary. Proper elections have to be held to elect a general secretary according to the party bye-laws. People are on my side.”
Handing out support to Jayalalithaa’s niece Deepa Jaikumar, 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.”
Speaking about the doubts being raised over Jayalalithaa’s health condition, Panneerselvam said an investigation committee headed by a retired Supreme Court judge would be set up to reveal the facts to public.
“Doubts about Amma’s health are still prevalent. The government is duty bound to probe them. A probe commission will be set up headed by a retired Supreme Court judge and will reveal the details to the public,” he added.
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.