O Panneerselvam Will Be Expelled Soon, Says AIADMK Chief VK Sasikala

AIADMK chief VK Sasikala said that O Panneerselvam will be expelled from the party soon. She said the Chief Minister - who voiced his disapproval of her elevation - has also been sacked as AIADMK treasurer. The decision was taken following a high-level meeting of senior party leaders and legislators, chaired by Ms Sasikala at her Poes Garden residence around midnight.

"O Panneerselvam is being relieved from the post of AIADMK treasurer and Dindigul C Srinivasan is appointed to that post. Part cadres should extend their full cooperation to Srinivasan," Ms Sasikala said, in a brief statement.

Late on Tuesday evening, Mr Panneerselvam addressed reporters after holding a meditation session at former Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa's memorial on Marina Beach. Later, he met the press and claimed that Ms Jayalalithaa, while she was admitted in Apollo hospital, had wanted him to take her place should something happen to her.

Mr Panneerselvam also said he had been constantly humiliated by his ministers and party leaders and added that he would be open to taking back his resignation if that is what the party workers and the people wanted.

Supporters of Mr Panneerselvam gathered outside his official residence at Greams Road and thanked him for "listening to his conscience and heeding to the call of the soul of Amma".

The rebellion comes days after Ms Sasikala praised Mr Panneerselvam and likened him to a "dear brother" in her address to party workers on Sunday. She had also said that it was he who convinced her to take up the Chief Minister's post.

"Whenever the party faced tough times and whenever there were difficulties in Amma becoming Chief Minister, it was our dear brother Panneerselvam who has been loyal," she had said.