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O Panneerselvam camp MLA says bribes were offered at Koovathur

Chennai: A claim by S.S. Saravanan, OPS camp MLA, that huge sums of money ranging from Rs 2 crore to Rs 6 crore were offered to legislators by the VK Sasikala faction to vote in favour of it in the February 18 trust vote gave enough fodder for the Opposition to corner the embattled AIADMK Government.

According to a English TV channel, Mr Saravanan, MLA from Madurai South, confessed that money was indeed paid to MLAs to stay with the Sasikala faction and to prevent from crossing over to the OPS camp.

“They did not commit anything directly…but we all got information. There was information that they are going to give Rs 2 crore for each MLA. When we got into the bus we heard it is going to be Rs 2 rore. When we reached airport for governor it was Rs 4 crore, then when we reached Koovathur it was Rs 6 crore,” the MLA, who made a dramatic escape from the resort, was shown as revealing through a spy camera.

Though the MLA himself denied the allegations and threatened of legal action against the channel, the Opposition parties - DMK, Congress and BJP - were quick to accusing the Edappadi K. Palaniswami Government of “managing” majority in the House through “money power.”

While BJP spokesperson G. V. L. Narasimha Rao said there was no reason to believe money was not involved and wanted investigative agencies to take note of the case, Congress' Khushboo termed the “revelation” shame on Tamil Nadu.

“Their majority was managed and we have been saying right from day one that MLAs were bought and their support was purchased. This government is a benami government and we will expose the government,” DMK MP T.K.S. Elangovan said.

This is not the first time allegations of use of money power are hurled at the Sasikala camp. Former chief minister O Panneerselvam had alleged just before the trust vote that support of MLAs was being bought.
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