As AIADMK General Secretary Sasikala travels to Bengaluruâ€™s Parappana Agrahara prison, the O Panneerselvam camp has not let up on its attack against her faction of MLAs. On Wednesday, it took the form of a police complaint by Madurai (South) MLA SS Saravanan, that he had been abducted.
Based on his complaint, an FIR was registered at the Koovathur police station against Sasikala and the new Legislature Party leader Edappadi K Palaniswami, under Sections 366 (kidnapping) and 506 (1) (criminal intimidation).
Saravanan, who had been with the Sasikala camp until the night before the verdict in the DA case, made a dramatic night-time escape. Disguising himself in a T-shirt and Bermuda shorts, he had scaled a wall and jumped down to escape to the OPS camp.
On Wednesday, Saravanan had reportedly claimed that the MLAs in the resort were traumatised. â€śWe were isolated in one place and were affected emotionally. But we were attending phone calls and were active on social media, backing OPS,â€ť the MLA was quoted as saying.
Saravananâ€™s comments tie in with the popular perception among the public in Chennai. Attacking the Sasikala faction for locking up their representatives, more than one case was filed seeking immediate location of the missing MLAs.
The situation had even drawn the attention of the High Court, which directed the police to investigate whether the MLAs were being held by force.
On Wednesday, the police were once again back at the Golden Bay resort, this time investigating Saravananâ€™s complaint.
However, MLAs at the resort were quick to dismiss these allegations as completely false.
Radhapuram MLA Inbadurai, for instance, told the media that the police had already conducted enquiries with the MLAs at the resort. â€śWe showed the cops the room he stayed in. His claims are not true. He stayed with us from February 8. When the police interrogated us following the High Court's direction, he was the one who gave a statement that everyone stayed here of their own will. This complaint from him was because of a 'later thought' to create unnecessary political instability.â€ť
Rangasamy, the MLA for Thanjavur, told the media, that forming the government was the chief duty for the MLAs, and it was for this reason that they had stayed gathered at the resort. He said that they were gathered to fulfill the democratic mandate of the people.
On Saravananâ€™s complaint, he said, â€śI had often seen and spoken to him. He was staying here fully of his own free will.â€ť He added that he did not know why Saravanan had changed his mind, but that his stay had been an independent decision. He also said that Saravanan had betrayed Jayalalithaa by joining the OPS faction, which had celebrated a victory that tarnished Jayalalithaaâ€™s name.
Perambur MLA, Vetrivel, added that while Saravanan had made a complaint, he had to come forward to identify specific persons who had assaulted him or restrained him against his will. â€śHe has not come forward to say who is the bouncer, who hit him. Let the police bring the person who has given the complaint, let them identify the people who confined him, and then let the police arrest them.â€ť