Tamil Nadu Education Minister Mafoi Pandiarajan on Saturday announced his decision to move to acting Chief Minister O Panneerselvam’s camp, becoming the first minister to extend his support to OPS, The News Minute reported. Besides him, founding member of the AIADMK and former finance minister C Ponnaiyan has also pledged allegiance to OPS.

Meanwhile, Tamil Nadu chief minister designate VK Sasikala on Saturday submitted a letter to state governor C Vidyasagar Rao seeking an appointment to prove she had the majority support of her All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam MLAs. She said since it had been “seven long days” since Panneerselvam had submitted his resignation, which was accepted, she would like an appointment to prove her majority. Sasikala also noted the “urgency of the situation at hand”.

“In the interest of the unity of AIADMK, I have decided to join OPS. Every MLA wishes that AIADMK stays together, so I invite all of them to join us,” Pandiarajan said. Speaking to reporters, the caretaker chief minister said, “All the ministers and MLAs will come and join me one by one, justice will prevail.”

Earlier in the day, two AIADMK MPs – PR Sundaram and Ashok Kumar – had joined Panneerselvam’s faction.

“Whoever attempts to divide us will destroy themselves. We will win,” Sasikala told reporters. Later in the day, Sasikala visited the resort in Mahabalipuram where around 130 of her legislators have allegedly been sequestered, to prevent them from switching camps. On Friday, the police were asked to look into allegations that the MLAs were being held against their will.

The impasse between VK Sasikala and O Panneerselvam has left Tamil Nadu politics in turmoil. The rift became evident after Panneerselvam, on February 7, had said he had been forced to resign as chief minister. He said his camp was prepared to respond to any allegations levelled by Sasikala and her supporters. Though Sasikala had claimed that she enjoyed the support of a majority of AIADMK legislators, Panneerselvam had said that several legislators were on his side and that he could prove his strength in the state Assembly.