"Therefore, the Governor should monitor the situation and take all steps to protect democracy", he added.

With the Supreme Court upholding the trial court's order and convicting Sasikala in the Disproportionate Assets case, Golden Bay Resort where Sasikala is staying along with her family and AIADMK MLAs, turned deathly quiet.

Though Panneerselvam does not have the explicit support of a very large number of MLAs, he has been insisting he would prove majority on the floor of the House if asked to do so.

Mr Stalin, who is also the leader of opposition in the state assembly, said Mr Palaniswami must not "seek consultations from the Bengaluru prison", and must ensure that "the oath of office and secrecy he has taken today, according to the Constitution, is not infringed upon".

In a related development, AIADMK MP V. Maitreyan from the O. Panneerselvam camp is expected to meet Election Commission officials in the afternoon, on the validity of Sasikala's appointment as the general secretary of the party, which in turn will decide the legality of Sasikala's decisions as general secretary. Dinakaran and Venkatesh were removed from the AIADMK by Jayalalithaa in 2011.

There was no immediate reaction from Sasikala who was not present at the hearing at the apex court in New Delhi and has been holed up in a resort close to Tamil Nadu's main city Chennai since last week. While speaking to local media, Panneerselvam reportedly said, "I vow to fight back".

The AIADMK party on Tuesday chose Edapadi K.Palanisamy as their new leader and also terminated O Panneerselvams primary membership of the party.

The court also said that there was "incriminating evidence" against Jayalalithaa, a former film star who died last December after three stints as the state's chief minister.

"If she has a plan B-projecting somebody else for the post of Chief Minister, she - will not succeed", Palaniswamy said.

In 1987 after party founder MG Ramachandran's death, the AIADMK split into two factions - one led by Jayalalithaa and the other by MGR's wife Janaki. As a Kongu Vellala Gounder, he was instrumental in planning for elections in the western region of Tamil Nadu.

A farmer by profession, Palaniswami was on the sidelines for some time as he lost the Edapadi seat in 2006.

A grass root leader, he was given charge of the key portfolio of Public Works, besides Highways and Minor Ports, which he had already been holding. The special court had in 2014 held Jayalalithaa guilty of corruption and sentenced her to four years imprisonment and imposed a fine of Rs 100 crore.


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