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MLAs' Conscience Will Make Them Back Panneerselvam: AIADMK's Maitreyan

In conversation with CNN-News18’s Deepa Balakrishnan, AIADMK veteran and former Rajya Sabha member V Maitreyan expressed confidence that ‘caretaker’ Chief Minister O Panneerselvam will emerge victorious in the battle for the party and government.

Deepa Balakrishnan | CNN-News18deepab18

Updated:February 8, 2017, 11:56 PM IST
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MLAs' Conscience Will Make Them Back Panneerselvam: AIADMK's Maitreyan
File photo of O Panneerselvam.
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In conversation with CNN-News18’s Deepa Balakrishnan, AIADMK veteran and former Rajya Sabha member V Maitreyan expressed confidence that ‘caretaker’ Chief Minister O Panneerselvam will emerge victorious in the battle for the party and government.

All through this political turmoil, Panneerselvam has said he's confident of retaining majority. What gives you this confidence?
The people. The people of Tamil Nadu and the cadre of AIADMK give us confidence. After his statement last night, there has been a groundswell of support at grassroot level across the state. This gives our CM super confidence.

Cadre don't matter, numbers do...
Ultimately, the MLAs represent their constituency. The people voted for Amma. People have voted to support the legacy of Amma. We have their support.

You are talking about cadre, but all party cadre who have supported you have been removed like the IT cell secretaries. So such dissent is already being quelled.

These appointments itself are questionable. And removing people is also questionable. That's a legal proceeding and we will take that up at the appropriate forum. So many surveys have shown overwhelming public support for Panneerselvam.

Also Read: Amma Raised Me Strong, No One Can Threaten Me, Says Panneerselvam

But you still don't have 130 (MLAs)
How do you know we don't have 130? The MLAs will be there in head count on the day of the Assembly vote. Beyond that it's anybody guess.

So you don't have a plan B?
We have confidence in the inner conscience of the MLAs who will support Panneerselvam.

Conscience? No plan B. Looks like you don't have a strategy in place at all.
Strategies are not discussed with the media. Or in studios. They will be behind scenes.

Will Deepa Jayakumar (Jayalalithaa’s niece) be joining hands with you?
We have given a general call to everybody, including Deepa Jayakumar to support us.

In the last few days, there has been an impasse in administration. Who are the police reporting to? Who is taking administrative decisions? With a caretaker CM be at the helm?
As per Constitution, there is nothing called a caretaker CM. The Governor has told Pannneerselvam to execute orders as CM till alternative arrangement is made or till he is re-confirmed as CM. So he will continue. He has all powers of a CM.

Also Read:
'Panneerselvam Disgracing Amma's Memory. That is What Pains Me'

There are reports of plans to parade MLAs before the President or petition the Governor.

Parading MLAs before the President or showing them as showpieces before the Governor has no legal validity. It is head count in Assembly that matters.

What do you see happening in the next 48 hours?
The State will rise. Support base that you are seeing today will be manifold tomorrow and much more the day after.

Do you foresee mid-term polls in the next six months or an year?
No. Panneerselvam will be the CM. And will complete his remaining term as the Chief Minister.



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| Edited by: Ananya Chakraborty
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