V Maitreyan, a long-time Rajya Sabha member and the man who was known as Jayalalithaa's voice in New Delhi, was one of the few prominent faces of the AIADMK who reached O Panneerselvam's residence on Tuesday night.
This was shortly after OPS announced, outside Jayalalithaa’s memorial at the Marina beach, that he was forced to resign as the CM of Tamil Nadu, and that he will take back his resignation if people of the state want him to.
Maitreyan, AIADMK’s Rajya Sabha MP, told The News Minute, that he decided to go with OPS as the latter had the support of the people.
"The people of Tamil Nadu are with OPS. AIADMK cadres are with OPS. I would naturally choose the leader who has the backing of the people," he said.
"From the events which have taken place in the last few days, it is clear that OPS is the man trusted to carry forward Jayalalithaa's legacy," he added. "And I would only go to the side which takes forward her legacy."
Maitreyan also said it was his conscience as an Amma loyalist that made him back OPS.
File photo: OPS; PTI
While it may seem that OPS does not have the numbers to stake claim to the government, the veteran leader said, "Wait and see. Over the next few days, support will swell for him from leaders and party cadres."
Maitreyan went on to liken the current political situation in Tamil Nadu to what happened in 1972 in the state.
MGR had broken away from the DMK, accusing the party leadership of not looking after the interests of the people, and had formed the AIADMK. "At that point, even though leaders did not support MGR, the party cadres supported him," Maitreyan said.
Asked if OPS could be compared to MGR, Maitreyan said that, "the reality now is that OPS is getting mass support".
OPS with Sasikala; PTI
Slamming allegations that the DMK and the BJP had a role in OPS's revolt, the Rajya Sabha member said that these are nothing but "silly theories floating around".
On Tuesday night, OPS came up with quite a few shocking revelations to the media. He said that after he was appointed as the CM, he was repeatedly insulted by his own ministers, who gave interviews to the media that only the party’s general secretary should be made the CM.
Stating that he was forced to resign, the former CM revealed that he had wanted to go to Jayalalithaa’s memorial to seek Amma’s blessings before tendering his resignation, but they simply did not allow him to do so.
"I never asked to be made CM, but you made me CM and insulted me again and again," OPS said.