I Was Forced To Resign As Chief Minister On Sunday: Panneerselvam 

Former chief minister O Panneerselvam staged a silent sit-in at Jayalalithaa’s samadhi at the Marina Beach in Chennai on Tuesday night. - Sakshi Post

Chennai: Late Jayalalithaa asked me to takeover the party reins during her treatment at the Apollo Hospitals but I refused, former chief minister of Tamil Nadu O Panneerselvam said.

Addressing the media after an evening of dramatic developments in the state capital where he staged a silent sit-in at Jayalalithaa's samadhi, Panneerselvam said though hesitant he took charge as the chief minister because it was "amma's wish". Panneerselvam said he wanted to share "some truths" with AIADMK cadres. He said he was forced to resign from the chief ministership by unscrupulous elements who did not like his people-centric welfare measures. "Amma had requested me to save the party and the government during her treatment at the Apollo Hospital and said that I should takeover the reins," he said. "One who can protect the interest of the state should become the Chief Minister even if it's not me. If people and party cadres wish, I may withdraw the resignation," he said.

Panneerselvam at Jayalalithaa’s samadhi at the Marina Beach in Chennai on Tuesday night.

Earlier, Panneerselvam took everyone by surprise when he sat alone in meditation at the burial site of Jayalalithaa, two days after he tendered his resignation paving the way for party chief V K Sasikala's elevation to the top post.

Clad in a white shirt and dhoti, and sporting his trademark holy ash and kumkum, he sat on the floor inside the burial site enclosure in a traditional meditating posture. After sitting for nearly 40 minutes, he opened his eyes, wiped tears and prostrated as a mark of respect and then circumambulated the burial site. He then prayed before walking away.

Panneerselvam arrived at the site around 9 pm and placed a wreath before sitting in meditation. A couple of plainclothesmen stood guard behind him as he quietly meditated by closing his eyes with folded hands. Shortly after word spread that Panneerselvam was sitting on meditation, crowds began to gather at the venue.

Panneerselvam had on Sunday tendered his resignation from the post of Chief Minister citing 'personal reasons' and setting the stage for takeover of Sasikala, who was elected as Legislature Party leader earlier that day.

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