All members of the AIADMK who pledged their support to caretaker CM O Panneerselvam were expelled from the party on Tuesday. Just last week, OPS had also been sacked from his post as party treasurer after his revolt against Sasikala.
The party's decision came just hours after the Supreme Court restored a 2014 judgment by the Special Court convicting party General Secretary Sasikala, her niece Ilavarasi, nephew VN Sudhakaran and late CM Jayalalithaa in a 20-year-old Disproportionate Assets case.
A statement- signed by Sasikala- that the party released lists the name of 20 MLAs who have been removed from primary membership of the party.
They are as following:
- O Panneerselvam
- C Ponnaiyan
- PH Pandian
- Natham Vishwanathan
- KP Munusamy
- Ma Foi Pandiarajan
- P Mohan
- PH Manoj Pandian
- JCD Prabhakar
- K Thavasi
- K A Jayapal
- SK Selvam
- KP Rajendra Prasad
- KAK Mugil
- Parithi Ilamvazhuthi
- E Ponnusamy
- V Neelakandan
- Ko Jayappan
- M Muthuramalingam
- S Muthuselvi
Interestingly however, none of the names of the MPs who joined the OPS camp were mentioned in the statement.
In a major setback to the party and Sasikala, who was eyeing the post of Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu, the apex court on Tuesday set aside the Karnataka High Court verdict acquitting Sasikala and the three other accused in the Disproportionate Assets case.
At this stage, while the special court verdict stands, Sasikala cannot contest elections for the next 10 years. This is because she was sentenced to four yearsâ€™ imprisonment by Justice Cunha, and stands disqualified from membership of the TN Assembly for a further six years.
The AIADMK General Secretary who was elected as leader of the Legislature Party on February 5, will as a result be ineligible to contest for bye-elections.
The court has asked Sasikala to surrender immediately to complete her 4-year jail term awarded by the Special Court. The Special Court had also imposed a penatly of Rs 10 crore on Sasikala, Ilavarasi and Sudhakaran and this penalty stands with Tuesday's Supreme Court verdict.
Soon after the judgment was out, party MLAs selected Edappadi K Palanisamy as the leader of the Legislature Party.
Edappadi Palanisamy, who has been chosen by the MLAs to replace Sasikala as the Legislature Party leader, is from the powerful Gounder community in Tamil Nadu.
Read more about him here: Edappadi Palanisamy is new AIADMK Legislature Party leader, replaces Sasikala after conviction