Tamil Nadu Chief Minister O Panneerselvam has drawn more support as one more AIADMK MLA joined him after a dramatic escape late on Monday night. 

Madurai south MLA SS Saravanan on Monday claimed the he escaped from a private resort at Koovathur, where party MLAs have been allegedly held captive by general secretary VK Sasikala. He arrived at Panneerselvam’s residence late last night and claimed that he escaped the resort by scaling the wall before Sasikala reached there, reports Hindustan Times.  

With the arrival of Saravanan, the number of MLAs in the Chief Minister’s camp rose by eight (including Panneerselvam), even as 12 Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha MPs are backing him.

This includes R Gopalakrishnan who extended his support on Monday.

Saravanan alleged that party MLAs “were being detained” at the Koovathur resort and claimed he had given a slip by wearing a “t-shirt and Bermuda (shorts)”. 

Addressing media persons after switching sides, Saravanan said he was insulted and humiliated physically and mentally during his five-day stay at Koovathur.

He said he had meticulously planned to sneak away in disguise before Sasikala reached there in the afternoon.

“When a kitten like me can escape, I am sure other cubs will come out and join hands with Panneerselvam soon,” he said to cheers from the caretaker chief minister’s supporters.

“If a floor test is held today, Panneerselvam will win it. Both those who have come to his side and those who have not will vote for him,” he said.

b’Tamil Nadu chief minister O Panneerselvam/ Source: PTI’

Madurai MP, Gopalakrishnan, appreciated the support from the public that Panneerselvam enjoyed. He 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.

“Whoever Jayalalithaa had supported, even the public has accepted them. OPS is the hero of Jallikattu, no other politician has a right to claim. In a few hours, we will make him sit as the chief minister again. The ones who supported Amma should support him.”

On February 5, AIADMK General Secretary VK Sasikala was elected as the Legislature Party Leader, a step towards her elevation as Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu.

However, two days later, Panneerselvam had raised a revolt against her, alleging he was forced to step down for her.

(Feature image source: Twitter/@ANI)