TN CM Panneerselvam issues orders to convert Jaya’s residence into memorial

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Chennai: Amid power struggle in Tamil Nadu, caretaker Chief Minister O. Panneerselvam on Thursday issued executive orders to convert late CM J. Jayalalithaa’s Poes Garden residence into an ‘Amma memorial’.

State Chief Secretary Girija Vaidyanathan and DGP met Panneerselvam at his residence.

“It is the people’s wish that Amma’s home should be a memorial,” Panneerselvam said.

The 24,000 sq ft Poes Garden property is named “Veda Nilayam” after Jayalalithaa’s mother and is known for stunning luxury and lavish interiors. AIADMK General Secretary V K Sasikala continues to live there.

According to an Indian Express report, Panneerselvam is also finalising plans to remove some top police officials by the end of the day.

Tamil Nadu Governor C Vidyasagar Rao, who had kept away from Chennai for the last three days amid a bitter war of words between Sasikala and Panneerselvam, will leave for the state capital this afternoon.

The governor’s decision to return to Chennai has triggered speculation about whether he will swear in Sasikala after she mustered an overwhelming majority of AIADMK MLAs against a rebellious Panneerselvam, who claimed he has their backing.

“The Governor will be taking the 1.25 PM Jet Airways flight to Chennai from Mumbai,” a Raj Bhavan official said.

Sasikala and AIADMK MLAs are expected to meet Governor at 5 PM.

Asked if Rao has consulted legal and constitutional experts on political situation in Tamil Nadu, the official said, “The Governor did not call anyone specific for talks.”

Raj Bhavan sources said Rao may have discussed the legal and constitutional ramifications of the TN tangle, while he was in Delhi on Monday. “The Governor has also been in touch with a senior official at Chennai Raj Bhavan, via phone,” the sources said.

The Supreme Court had recently indicated it could deliver a judgement soon in a disproportionate assets case against Sasikala, who became the general secretary of AIADMK after the death of J Jayalalithaa.

A conviction after being sworn-in could result in Sasikala having to step down as chief minister.

A PIL was also filed in the apex court seeking to restrain Sasikala from being sworn-in as the chief minister, claiming in the event of her having to resign if she is convicted in the disproportionate assets case there could lead to law and order problem in the state.

Sasikala was elected leader of the AIADMK legislature party on Sunday, clearing the decks for her elevation as the chief minister.

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