"Governor C Vidyasagar Rao is likely to swear in AIADMK legislature party leader Edappadi K Palaniswami as chief minister on Thursday", a Raj Bhavan insider told.
He may also be asked to show his majority on the floor of the house in a week, ruling out the chances of a composite floor test.
A Raj Bhavan source said that "after meeting Palaniswami and caretaker chief minister O Paneerselvam on Wednesday evening, the governor accepted the claim of Palaniswami on the basis of number."
"Palaniswami submitted a list of 124 legislators, while Paneerselvam claimed that he has the support of eight legislators. The governor now has no option but to invite Palaniswami to form the government," the source said.
He said, "the governor examined all aspects, including reports that a section of legislators have been kidnapped and lodged in a resort, before concluding that Palaniswami has the support of the requisite number of legislators."
Around 7.30pm on Wednesday, Edappadi K Palaniswami reached governor C Vidyasagar Rao along with nine others and asked him for an invite to form the government.
"We are hoping that the governor will call us to form the government at the earliest," former minister D Jayakumar told.
Soon after the AIADMK team left, Panneerselvam met the governor along with his nine men and asked his interference to "set free" all the MLAs who are stated to be kidnapped by Sasikala and put in the Koovathur resort.
"We explained the situation to the governor that most of the MLAs are unlawfully confined to the resort for nearly a week, against their wishes," a leader said.
He added that "OPS enjoyed support from a majority of MLAs in the resort."
A party leader said "Mettur MLA S Semmalai, who joined OPS camp on Monday, detailed to the governor how he escaped from the resort and how many others are held captive there."
AIADMK spokesman Nanjil Sampath, who is with the Palaniswami camp, said: "my group which has a majority was given only five minutes audience with the governor, while Panneerselvam was allotted half an hour."
Sasikala said that she wanted to make some personal settlements before surrendering. Sudhakaran said that he wanted to organise his business as well as studies of his minor children apart from mentioning that he has spondylitis and severe back pain.
A bench of Justices Ghose and Amitava Roy said, "We had directed the convicts to surrender immediately. We will pass no more orders. You understand the meaning of immediate, don't you Mr Tulsi?"
BY M. DIVYA SRI