[dropcap color=”#008040″ boxed=”yes” boxed_radius=”8px” class=”” id=””]A[/dropcap] groundswell of support for O Panneerselvam. That is what our team could see at 12:30AM on February 8, 2017 at his residence in Chennai. A wave of humanity had gathered in front of the hitherto unnoticed house in Raja Annamalai Puram on their own. This included hundreds of women. If the AIADMK MPs, MLAs and ministers could see the writing on the wall, they would stand by Panneerselvam who has hit and that too strongly at the root of the party built up by MGR and later by Jayalalithaa.
Paul Pandian, former Speaker of the Legislative Assembly set the ball in motion on Monday with his allegations and charges against the Mannargudi clan in the hospitalisation and death of Jayalalithaa.
“The MLAs, MPs, ministers and office bearers are with Sasikala and that is for temporary gains only. The party cadre is solidly with Panneerselvam who came out with the truth though a bit late. We want a stable, strong and people friendly government which Panneerselvam alone would be able to give,” said Uma Anand, a social activist who rushed to Marina Beach on hearing the news that Panneerselvam was sitting in meditation at the Jayalalithaa Memorial.
Sasikala and her Mannargudi clan got the first shock of their life from Panneerselvam who obliged them by tendering his resignation letter when asked to do so without a murmur. But Team PGurus, which has been hovering around the AIADMK party headquarters was the first news agency which picked up the sense of disappointment and dejection written on Panneerselvam’s face while he came out of Veda Nilayam and the AIADMK headquarters on Sunday afternoon.
It was waiting to happen and Panneerselvam chose the right moment. Paul Pandian, former Speaker of the Legislative Assembly set the ball in motion on Monday with his allegations and charges against the Mannargudi clan in the hospitalisation and death of Jayalalithaa. If Pandian’s press meet was the appetizer, Panneerselvam’s soft outburst turned out to be a tornado which will certainly shake up the Mannargudi Mafia’s well laid plans.
[dropcap color=”#008040″ boxed=”yes” boxed_radius=”8px” class=”” id=””]I[/dropcap]t is going to be a tough day for Governor C Vidhyasagar Rao who is expected in Chennai on Wednesday morning. A party meeting of all MLAs is scheduled for 10AM. If he delays the swearing in of Chinnamma Sasikala, the Mannargudi clan is in for major trouble. They may have to dig deep to “convince” the MLAs to “see reason” and keep them under their flock. As most of the AIADMK MLAs are vulnerable for poaching, will it end up being a Pyrrhic victory? There are enough ways to circumvent the provisions in the anti-defection laws and this could sound the death knell of the ambitions of Natarajan and his henchmen.
Is there still going to be a twist in the tale? Will someone else emerge from this chaos as a consensus Chief Ministerial candidate?
History is being repeated in Tamil Nadu with slight modifications. When MGR, the founder of AIADMK died in 1987, his widow Janaki Ramachandran stepped in as chief minister though she had never opened her mouth in public and was illiterate. But Janaki’s chief ministerial tenure came to an end within 23 days of her being sworn in by the governor. The year 2017 happens to be the centenary year of MGR. What is being watched by the people of Tamil Nadu is if his followers would ensure the liquidation of the party he founded even as the country is observing his birth centenary. Had the Tamil Nadu BJP been led by visionaries, they would have got the AIADMK merged into it and emerged as a suitable alternative to the DMK and other Dravidian parties. But the saffron brigade in Tamil Nadu is full of wheeler dealers and that puts to rest any hope for the BJP to bounce back as Tamil Nadu’s ruling party.
Is there still going to be a twist in the tale? Will someone else emerge from this chaos as a consensus Chief Ministerial candidate? With the assumption that Sasikala will continue to call the shots? Or will the Supreme Court weigh in on the Disproportionate Assets case that results in gaol for the family? The next 18 hours will be interesting to watch!