The rebellion by ‘caretaker’ Chief Minister O Panneerselvam against AIADMK leader VK Sasikala grew on Monday with a party parliamentarian and an MLA jumping ship.
Soon after reaching OPS residence, Madurai south MLA S S Saravanan, accompanied by Lok Sabha member R Gopalakrishnan addressed reporters in the presence of Panneerselvam and other senior party leaders in his camp.
Saravanan said he had managed to flee the Koovathur resort in disguise before Sasikala arrived there on Monday evening. The total tally in the OPS camp has now risen to eight MLAs, including the CM, and 12 MPs.
“I disguised myself, changed my get-up, scaled the wall, jumped and escaped,” Sarvanan told journalists amid loud cheers from Panneerselvam’s supporters.
Saravanan claimed that being a civil engineer, he plotted his escape from the well-guarded resort by coming out wearing a T. shirt and Bermudas. “I wanted to leave before Ms. Sasikala came there,” he told journalists.
Madurai MP Gopalakrishnan appreciated the support from the public that Panneerselvam enjoyed and noted that it was the same youths who strove for the success of the jallikattu agitation that had thrown their weight behind the chief minister, who had been chosen by the late party chief J Jayalalithaa to lead the party and government after her.