Tamil Nadu crisis Setback for Sasikala, ready to nominate an MLA as CM candidate; Education Minister Pandiarajan, 2 AIADMK MPs, top leaders extend support to CM Panneerselvam!
-Dr. Abdul Ruff
Jayalalithaa’s friend Sasikala’s efforts to become Tamil nadu CM soon after Jayalalithaa’s death have not succeeded as the Governor refused to swear he rin for certain technical reasons, particularly her inappropriate wealth case in the Supreme Court and her insistence to assume power to deny Pannerselvam continue to be the CM. Supreme Court originally reserved the judgment for February 14 but reported said it was advanced to February 10 but the Court did not reveal the judgment and it is now presumed that the judgment could be delivered on February 13, 14 o3 even 15. However, uncertainty remains.
As more and more leaders join the camp of CM Panneerselvam, Sasikala naturally feels insecure and seems to have decided to nominate the most trusted MLA like say Sengottaiyan as her CM candidate in view of opposition in AIADMK to her own candidature. She calculates if an elected MLA is put forward, the Governor would readily make that person the next CM that would end Panneerselvam’s chances to continue as CM. .
While media gives speculative news regularly, the people of Tamil Nadu have no information about what exactly is happening in the state. They are confused as to why Sasikala made Panneerselvam- the choice of Jayalalithaa- resign the CM post and what is wrong if he is allowed to continue to serve the people as CM. His role in getting Jallikattu sport return to the state is appreciated by the people and youth. .
Governor takes time to evaluate the related but complicated issues concerning the swearing in as new turns of events overtake the earlier ones. Sasikala’s reported kidnapping of all her supporting MLAs to a far away resort has complicated the issue and strengthened the view that she possibly has hidden agenda for the state. .
As the power struggle within the All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazagham (AIADMK) continues to plague the political ambiance in Tamil Nadu, Education Minister Ma Foi Pandiarajan on Saturday joined Chief Minister O Panneerselvam’s camp, strengthening his claim that many MLAs and PMs would join him in due course.
Interestingly, Pandiarajan was one of the few ministers who had accompanied Sasikala to meet Governor. “Will surely listen to the collective voice of my voters and decide in a way to uphold the dignity of Amma’s memory & unity of AIADMK!,” he wrote on Twitter on Saturday. Meanwhile, two MPs have also extended support to OPS. Ashok Kumar from Krishnagiri and PR Sundaram from Namakkal have extended support to the caretaker chief minister..More leaders are expected join Panneerselvam camp.
Governor Vidyasagar Rao is still undecided on the issue as the feud in the ruling AIADMK escalated with VK Sasikala sacking party presidium chairman E Madhusudhnan who wrote to the Election Commission asking it to not recognize her as general secretary of the party. Seeking to put in place a stable government, the governor is said to be still evaluating legal opinion on Sasikala’s claim to having an overwhelming support of party MLAs while the judgment of Supreme Court on disproportionate assets case against her is imminent next week.
Sending a strong message to her detractors, Sasikala sacked Madhusudhnan from the primary membership of the party, a day after he switched over to the rebel camp led by Panneerselvam, and appointed former minister KA Sengottaiyan in his place.
On his part, Panneerselvam asserted that his camp would not allow the party to go into hands of ‘a family’ and that the “dream of those to capture power” will end as a “day dream”.
Meanwhile, Sasikala received a sigh of relief as Rao has clarified that he had not sent any report to the Home Ministry, which allegedly cited she was not qualified to stake the claim of being the Chief Minister of the state. The office of the governor issued a press release that said, “Thiru Ch. Vidyasagar Rao, the Governor of Tamil Nadu, has not sent any report either to the Ministry of Home Affairs or to the President of India, as reported in some of the media.”
Peace has a limit, Sasikala warns Governor as support for CM Panneerselvam rises
As pressure builds, Sasikala wrote to Vidyasagar Rao requesting immediate decision to invite her to form the government.
As news of defections — most notably that of Tamil Nadu education minister K Pandiarajan — begins to trickle in, the pressure appears to be well and truly on the VK Sasikala camp.
On Saturday — the fifth day of the AIADMK crisis, Sasikala wrote to Governor Vidyasagar Rao requesting that he show consideration for the welfare of Tamil Nadu and take an immediate decision. She also requested that Rao make some time for her to meet with him and her MLAs as soon as possible.
Her letter also highlighted the fact that the Constitution, democracy and sovereignty has to be protected.
It may be recalled that the caretaker chief minister O Panneerselvam had offered his resignation to Rao on 5 February and the governor accepted it. But barely two days later, Panneerselvam did a complete volte face, leading to the situation in which Tamil Nadu presently finds itself.
The suspense of the Tamil Nadu AIADMK drama has been on the rise for a few days as both Sasikala’s and incumbent Chief Minister O. Panneerselvam’s camps remained tight-lipped about their respective closed-door meetings with Rao.
Chief Minister Panneerselvam launched a signature campaign on Saturday for converting late Jayalalithaa’s Poes Garden residence in Chennai into a memorial. Veda Nilayam, where AIADMK General Secretary VK Sasikala now continues to stay post Jayalalithaa’s death, is a sprawling property located at the posh Poes Garden off Cathedral Road. Though Jayalalithaa’s mother had lived there briefly, it was largely occupied by Jayalalithaa. Aiming to garner public support on the matter, the Chief Minister, flanked by some AIADMK MPs and former Ministers made the first signature to this effect at his Greenways Road residence. Selvam also appealed to people to carry forward the signature campaign and endorse it in large numbers to realize the dream of converting the landmark ‘Veda Nilayam’ Poes Garden residence into a public memorial. Veda is the name of Jayalalithaa’s mother, who was known as Sandhya in the Tamil film world. Hundreds of people had converged on the Poes Garden residence soon after Jayalalithaa’s death in December, wanting to take a glimpse of the house.
Many MLAs feel only an elected member could be the General Secretary of AIADMK and Jayalalithaa chose Panneerselvam to be the CM.
All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazagham (AIADMK) General Secretary VK Sasikala on Saturday met her MLAs at the Golden Bay resort in Kuvathur where they have been corralled into, in order to prevent any horse trading ahead of a probable floor test to prove majority. She wants to take back the MLAs to Raj Bhavan, as proof of her support within the party but she has not done so far perhaps because she is doubtful of actual strength she has in the assembly, and the governor has not shown any interest. On 11 Feb Sasikala wrote a letter to Tamil Nadu Governor Ch Vidyasagar Rao seeking his appointment to prove majority. “I believe Your Excellency will “act immediately to save” the sovereignty of the Constitution and democracy and the interest of the state,” she wrote. In the letter, Sasikala recalled that she had met him on February 9 along with her senior ministers, consequent to her seeking an appointment with him to hand over the letter of party MLAs electing her as their leader.
Chief Minister O Panneerselvam got a shot in the arm when two Lok Sabha AIADMK MPs – P R Sundaram and K Ashok as well as senior AIADMK leader C. Ponnaiyan – joined his camp.
On the other hand, Sasikala heaved a sigh of relief after Rao clarified that he hasn’t sent any report to the Home Ministry, which allegedly cited she was not qualified to stake the claim of being the Chief Minister of the state.