I was forced to resign: former Tamil Nadu Chief Minister

"I needed to clear my conscience and open up to the people to let them know what had happened", he said before hitting out at Sasikala.

Vidyasagar Rao accepted his resignation yesterday and asked him and his Council of Ministers to continue to function till alternative arrangements were made.

"I am willing to fight alone", he said as a battle call.

"I never revealed it because I don't want any bad name for the party or Amma's legacy", said he. "He will try to form the ministry but will fail", Thambidurai added.

Panneerselvam seemed to be well settling down to his new decision-making responsibilities in the post-Jaya phase, confronting the aftermath of a vicious December storm, widespread drought and massive Jallikattu agitations in Marina, Chennai and in southern districts.

He continued, "I was given the CM post but insulted continuously". In particular, he mentioned his Cabinet colleagues R. B. Udaya Kumar, Seller Raju and Sengottaiyann.

The Chief Minister, further stated that immediately after the appointment of Sasikala as general secretary, some of the Ministers started demanding that he should step down and Sasikala be elevated as Chief Minister. "They said both the positions of party general secretary and the CM should be with one person", he said.

"When Amma was in the hospital and her health was not good, I was told we have the responsibility to save the party and government". I will not ditch people who come to me. "I also adopted patience because I felt the party and the government should not suffer because of my actions", he said. "That means, he's unfit to be Chief Minister", Thambidurai told TNM.

The PIL was filed by Chennai resident Senthil Kumar, general secretary of NGO Satta Panchayat Iyakkam, hours after the apex court indicated it could deliver its judgment on the appeals challenging the acquittal of Jayalalithaa and Sasikala in a 19-year-old disproportionate assets case. "I haven't come out of sadness after Jayalalithaa's demise", he said. The two others are her nephew Sudhakaran, who is Ms. Jayalalithaa's disowned foster son, and her close relative Ilavarasi.

Hinting at foul play, the senior Pandian said there should be a probe to find out what led to the hospitalisation of Jayalalithaa in September. He later flew to Mumbai.

Her assuming office as Chief Minister will be a meteoric rise for Sasikala, once a shop-keeper, introduced to Jayalalithaa in the early 1980s and not long after, she moved into Poes Garden, official residence of Jayalalithaa.

Jayalalithaa died on Dec 5, 2016, after being admitted to Apollo Hospital for around 75 days. He demanded a probe into the circumstances in which she was hospitalised.

"All the MLAs are there like a single family, so there is no problem", she told reporters at a crowded press meet.

  • Kyle Peterson