CHENNAI: The venue was spruced up and party leaders were all asked to assemble in the State capital. The buzz was clear – the new Chief Minister would assume office on Tuesday. The only doubt was whether the ceremony was at 9 am or 11 am. But at the end of the day, the only surety is that the Governor has accepted Chief Minister O Panneerselvam’s resignation, but asked him to continue till alternative arrangements were made.
Sources in the national capital told Express that Governor Ch Vidyasagar Rao sought legal opinion from Attorney General Mukul Rohatgi on AIADMK general secretary VK Sasikala assuming office. Rohatgi, in turn, has sought a day’s time before offering his opinion.
The governor’s stress was to ensure a “stable government”, sources added, noting that the concerns were raised due to the case against Sasikala that is before the Supreme Court now. Adding to this, a PIL was filed at the apex court on Monday, seeking to prevent her swearing-in.
Though not formally announced, it was widely expected that VK Sasikala, who was chosen as the leader by the AIADMK legislative party on Sunday, would be sworn-in on Tuesday. Workers from the PWD and Chennai Corporation sprucing up the centenary hall of the University of Madras for the ceremony lent credence to this expectation. Also, the party MPs who have been in Delhi to attend the ongoing Parliament session were directed to reach Chennai to be part of the event.
However, with Governor Rao away in Delhi to attend the wedding of Union Minister Prakash Javadekar’s son, there was no official word. Sources said the governor also met Union Minister Pon Radhakrishnan. As the media in Tamil Nadu eagerly awaited information about the governor’s arrival, it was known that he had cancelled all scheduled programmes in Tamil Nadu and instead left for Mumbai.
The governor was scheduled to be the chief guest at the convocation of Bharathiar University, Coimbatore. But later on Monday evening, the university officials were informed that he would not take part in the ceremony.
A statement from Raj Bhavan said the Governor has accepted incumbent Chief Minister O Panneerselvam’s resignation. In his letter to Panneerselvam, the Governor asked him and the Council of Ministers to continue until alternate arrangements are made.
Meanwhile, Sasikala’s residence at Poes Garden was busy with activities throughout the day, with State Chief Secretary Girija Vaidyanathan and Public Department Secretary Shiv Das Meena holding detailed discussions with Sasikala twice. Both discussions lasted for an hour.