- Sasikala sets camp at Golden Bay resort near Chennai with over 100 MLAs
- Many MLAs, loyal to Sasikala, insist they're not being held forcefully
- One MLA escaped the resort this morning, in T-shirt and shorts
Many of them, loyal to Ms Sasikala or Chinnamma (younger sister of Amma), insist they are not being held against their will.
"The Golden Bay Resort owner is being threatened and asked to move us out. Some force is conspiring behind the scenes," said Navaneethakrishnan, an AIADMK parliamentarian. A group of lawmakers are threatening to launch a protest fast against what they call the targeting of the resort owner.
Till yesterday, the lawmakers were not allowed to meet anyone but Ms Sasikala and a chosen few. Their mobile phones were allegedly taken away to stop them from contacting Chief Minister O Panneerselvam, who revolted against Ms Sasikala last Tuesday and declared her unfit to become Chief Minister.
This morning, S Semmalai also said he had broken free.
Ms Sasikala, asked to surrender immediately, remained inside. It emerged later that she had called a quick meeting of the lawmakers in which her loyalist Edappadi Palanisamy was elected party chief and Mr Panneerselvam and his supporters were "expelled".
Mr Panneerselvam appealed to the lawmakers to do the right thing and sent his team to reason with them. But they were stopped about a km from the resort.
Amid extraordinary security measures, journalists were told by fishermen that there were strict orders not to give anyone boat rides.