[dropcap color=”#008040″ boxed=”yes” boxed_radius=”8px” class=”” id=””]D[/dropcap]espite the fact that V K Sasikala has herded nearly 130 AIADMK MLAs and put them in a heavily fortified resort 90 km away from Chennai, a war of nerves is on between the camp headed by her and chief minister O Panneerselvam.
The Election Commission of India in a ruling on Wednesday declared that Sasikala has no authority to remove Panneerselvam from the post of AIADMK treasurer because her elevation as party general secretary itself was not in order.
Though only five MLAs of the AIADMK have expressed their solidarity with Panneerselvam, the chief minister is confident that he would win the vote of confidence in the eventuality of Governor C Vidyasagar Rao asks him to do so. The Election Commission of India in a ruling on Wednesday declared that Sasikala has no authority to remove Panneerselvam from the post of AIADMK treasurer because her elevation as party general secretary itself was not in order.
Governor Rao is expected in Chennai by Thursday noon to bury the political impasse in Tamil Nadu which has literally frozen the State administration. In an interview to a Tamil news channel, Panneerselvam was heard telling that some of the MLAs “imprisoned: in the five-star resort” by the Mannargudi clan had got in touch with him by phone and other messengers and had expressed their support to him.
Reports reaching Chennai from the five-star resort where the MLAs are held in captivity say all of them have been provided with “everything” except access to TV channels and newspapers. Since Panneerselvam has alleged that he was forced to resign by the coterie of Sasikala’ family members, the Governor is likely to summon him to the Raj Bhavan before granting an audience to Sasikala and her family members.
[dropcap color=”#008040″ boxed=”yes” boxed_radius=”8px” class=”” id=””]T[/dropcap]hough the Congress and the CPI-M (with its sidekick, the CPI) has alleged that the BJP was making use of the Governor to fish in troubled waters, veteran scribe and commentator N Kalyanasundaram rubbished the charges. “What the BJP is going to win by supporting Panneerselvam or Sasikala? Please tell me where is the BJP in Tamil Nadu? The Congress and the Communists are spreading falsehood,” said Kalyanasundaram. He also pointed out the allegation made by Chinnamma that the DMK was behind Panneerselvam’s open rebellion.
N Gopalaswamy, former chief election commissioner, said there was no legal hurdles in Sasikala becoming the chief minister.
If the general feeling among the people of Tamil Nadu are any indication, Sasikala has no support in the State. People from all walks of life, including actor Kamal Haasan who opines on all issues in the world, are questioning the propriety of Sasikala becoming the chief minister of the State.
N Gopalaswamy, former chief election commissioner, said there was no legal hurdles in Sasikala becoming the chief minister. “If only she has been convicted by a court of law the question of disqualification arises. But she was acquitted in the disproportionate asset case which mean that the route is clear for swearing in her as Chief Minister,” said Gopalaswamy.
But the question is whom would the governor invite first, Panneerselvam or Sasikala, Being the reigning chief minister, Panneerselvam stands the chance of getting the first official invitation. Rao is coming to Chennai after getting a thorough legal briefing on the issue.