Mumbai, Feb 9: Tamil Nadu Governor C Vidyasagar Rao, who had kept away from Chennai for the last three days amid a bitter war of words between AIADMK General Secretary VK Sasikala and Chief Minister O Panneerselvam, will leave for the state capital on Thursday afternoon.
The governor's decision to return to Chennai has triggered speculation about whether he will swear in Sasikala after she mustered an overwhelming majority of AIADMK MLAs against a rebellious Panneerselvam, who claimed he has their backing. "The Governor will be taking the 1.25 PM Jet Airways flight to Chennai from Mumbai," a Raj Bhavan official told PTI.
The official, however, declined to comments on reports that Rao will meet legislators after landing in Chennai. Asked if Rao has consulted legal and constitutional experts on political situation in Tamil Nadu, the official said, "the Governor did not call anyone specific for talks." Raj Bhavan sources said Rao may have discussed the legal and constitutional ramifications of the TN tangle, while he was in Delhi on Monday.
"The Governor has also been in touch with a senior official at Chennai Raj Bhavan, via phone," the sources said. The Supreme Court had recently indicated it could deliver a judgement soon in a disproportionate assets case against Sasikala, who became the general secretary of AIADMK after the death of J Jayalalithaa.
A conviction after being sworn-in could result in Sasikala having to step down as chief minister. A PIL was also filed in the apex court seeking to restrain Sasikala from being sworn-in as the chief minister, claiming in the event of her having to resign if she is convicted in the DA case there could lead to law and order problem in the state.
Sasikala was elected leader of the AIADMK legislature party on Sunday, clearing the decks for her elevation as the chief minister.