MLAs for sale: Sting operation creates flutter in TN political arena

In what could have serious ramifications over the future of the Edappadi K Palaniswami government in Tamil Nadu, a sting investigation carried out by Times Now and Moon TV has exposed that AIADMK legislators were paid bribes by party general secretary V K Sasikala, in return for supporting Palaniswami during the trust vote held on February 18.

Madurai South MLA SS Saravanan, who had defected to the rebel faction, admits on spy camera that Sasikala camp talked about giving MLAs anything between Rs 2 crores to 6 crores.

But, he also made a revelation that not just Sasikala, former Chief Minister O Panneerselvam’s team was also willing to pay money for MLAs to switch sides.

However, the Madurai South MLA S.S. Saravanan (AIADMK-PTA) and Sulur MLA R. Kanagaraj (AIADMK-Amma), who were caught on tape in an alleged joint sting operation by two television channels, did not provide any evidence of the bribery.

“If they had given what was promised in that second, many wouldn’t have switched camps. All this was not needed…if they had asked us to go home and come back again, we would have gone there like a herd. That’s how we are. Have you seen anyone raising question in the AIADMK?” said Saravanan, suggesting that the switch over drama took place because Sasikala couldn’t pay the MLAs what she had promised.”

Denying the allegations, Rajya Sabha MP V Maitreyan said, “Many MLAs came to the OPS camp in the beginning. after 11th or 12thFebruary, MLAs stopped coming because the other side, Sasikala was sitting in Koovathur for three nights and she was offering money. If OPS was offering money, he would have been the CM today.” The AIADMK Amma team too has denied allegations.