Wednesday was O Panneerselvam’s day in the sun. The caretaker chief minister of the southern state was flooded with well-wishers and supporters, following his late night announcement of a break with the All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam’s general secretary in-charge, VK Sasikala on Tuesday night.
Five MLAs of the ruling party were seen at Panneerselvam’s residence in Chennai, extending their support. He was careful not to state how many more MLAs were in his favour, but said that many had spoken to him, extending their support.
Speaking for the first time on the missing will of late chief minister J Jayalalithaa, Panneerselvam stated that he was not aware if a will existed. He also told Firstpost in this exclusive interview that if a will is found, it should be subject to scrutiny by experts before being implemented.
Translation of the interview:
You had said earlier today that an inquiry would be conducted into the late chief minister’s death. Why wasn’t this inquiry commissioned when you were the chief minister?
The doctors who treated Amma had given detailed explanations about the treatment given to her. But I was informed that the people were not satisfied with their explanations. When there is a need for us to meet the people again, we should not have to face this question from them. That is the reason that I announced that a commission of inquiry would be set up.
You had stated that Sasikala and some ministers did not treat you well. Would you please elaborate on that?
There are some things I cannot say openly because it will not be good for either government or the party. I have only said what I needed to say. Even if it brings me a lot of benefit, there are some things that I will not reveal. I have only broadly spoken about what has happened, both on Tuesday and Wednesday. I do not wish to hurt anybody or offend anybody by my words. I had been patient about all the pressure that was being put upon me. It came to a point where I realised that if I continue to remain patient, some truths that the people need to know can only be told by me. There has been a lot of criticism about my resignation. These criticisms are false. To counter this, I spoke out. Nobody in the party can refute what I said.
What about Jayalalithaa’s will?
I was a loyal follower of Amma and carried out all the work entrusted to me. My friends and family know very well that I have never taken any steps to find out what was happening other than the work entrusted to me. A king has workers to carry out their bidding. A worker does not have the duty or job of advising the king. That has always been my belief. I have always only worked as a loyal worker for Amma.
Do you know whether a will exists or not?
I do not know. If I knew, I would have already told you. (Laughs)
The author tweets @divya_krthk
Updated Date: Feb 09, 2017 11:36 AM