AIADMK interim general secretary Sasikala Natarajan who spent 30 minutes with Tamil Nadu Governor Vidyasagar Rao on Thursday, staked a claim to form the government. The governor, prior to the meeting had conveyed that there shall be no parading of MLAs at the Raj Bhavan and she can be accompanied only by 10 ministers.
All eyes are on the governor today, whose decision would put an end to the ongoing turmoil in Tamil Nadu politics. The governor has been holding meetings with legal experts to decide on the next course of action. He was handed out a list of supporters backing Sasikala, but has not made any decision. This has even prompted BJP leader Subramanian Swamy to say, "What is he waiting for? She has shown the letter of support."
1Upon meeting the governor, Sasikala, after the mandatory pleasantries came straight to the point and said in English, "I stake claim." This was followed by a 20-minute presentation made by the 10 ministers who accompanied her who tried their best to impress upon the governor why Sasikala should be made the CM.
The governor was however not entirely convinced with the letter of support bearing the signatures of a majority of the AIADMK MLAs. During the meeting with Panneerselvam at 5 pm on Thursday, the governor was told that the list that would be presented by Sasikala should not be taken at face value.
Panneerselvam told the governor that most of the MLAs were held captive by Sasikala and if they were released, they would support him. Panneerselvam had also pre-warned the governor that the signatures of the MLAs were taken on blank sheets.
This put the governor in a quandary. He then decided that the signatures in the letter shown by Sasikala must be verified. Alternatively, he also suggested that a simultaneous floor test be held at the Tamil Nadu legislative assembly which would give both a chance to prove their strength.
During the meeting with Sasikala, the governor asked her about these allegations of the signatures either being forged or taken on blank sheets. Sasikala said that she was ready to get them verified by a senior AIADMK leader.
At first, Sasikala was not in favour of a floor test. However the governor said that this would be mandatory legally. At the end of the presentation made by her MLAs, she spent 10 minutes with the governor. She was told about all the concerns raised by OPS. He also said that these concerns must be addressed before she is invited to form the government. Sasikala was also given an outer limit of five days before the governor could address these concerns and invite her to form the government.