[dropcap color=”#008040″ boxed=”yes” boxed_radius=”8px” class=”” id=””]H[/dropcap]undreds of native breed bulls took on thousands bull tamers across southern Tamil Nadu on Sunday as part of Jallikattu, the traditional rural sport of the State. While hundreds of bull tamers walked away with prizes at Avaniapuram, Namakkal and Dindigul where Jallikattu events were held with gaiety and fervour, Chennai played host to a Jallikattu with a difference. No animals were harmed although some egos may have been bruised.
In a meeting which lasted more than two hours, Panneerselvam was asked to pen down his resignation and was taught what to speak in the legislature party meeting.
Vivekanandan Krishnaveni Sasikala, the 62-year-old school-drop out from Mannargudi in Thiruvarur district has been unanimously elected as the leader of the AIADMK legislature party. The MLAs of the party which met at the party headquarters on Sunday afternoon did not take much time to complete the formalities. O Panneerselvam, whom Team PGurus had described as the eternal Bharata of the Ramayana which is being staged in Tamil Nadu, “declared” his resignation as chief minister and proposed the name of his Chinnamma Sasikala as the leader of the legislature party. This was “unanimously” accepted by all the remaining members of the legislature party as their movements and body languages were being monitored by CCTV cameras installed at vantage points in the conference hall in the AIADMK headquarters.
Prior to the meeting of the legislature party, chief minister Panneerselvam and his cabinet colleagues were summoned to Veda Nilayam, (the bungalow which was constructed with the sweat and blood of Jayalalithaa), from where Sasikala and members of the Mannargudi clan call the shots in Tamil Nadu. In a meeting which lasted more than two hours, Panneerselvam was asked to pen down his resignation and was taught what to speak in the legislature party meeting. A grim faced Panneerselvam left for the party headquarters without looking towards the journalists waiting outside Veda Nilayam in Poes Garden.
[dropcap color=”#008040″ boxed=”yes” boxed_radius=”8px” class=”” id=””]T[/dropcap]he fate of Panneerselvam had been sealed on Thursday night itself when one of the nephews of Sasikala called him over telephone and asked him to get rid of Sheela Balakrishnan, the advisor to the government of Tamil Nadu and the two secretaries Venkataramanan and Ramalingam. The last named left the chief minister’s office with tears in his eyes.
Legally and constitutionally, the resignation of the chief minister has to be given to the Governor either in person by Panneerselvam or by his authorised representative.
What prompted the Mannargudi clan to get rid of Panneerselvam at this crucial juncture is said to be because of his ever increasing popularity with the people and his pro-active but silent style of functioning. M K Stalin, leader of the opposition and working president of the DMK, told reporters that the ouster of Panneerselvam and the coronation of Sasikala were acts of treason and treachery. “When Jayalalithaa was alive, she had hand picked Panneerselvam as chief minister on both the occasions when she had to leave the post following court verdicts. When she was admitted to the hospital, she had entrusted her portfolios to Panneerselvam. At no point of time, Sasikala was given any posting either in the party or in the government,” said Stalin.
Though it was announced by the AIADMK that Panneerselvam had submitted his letter of resignation to Sasikala, the question is who is Sasikala to accept the resignation of the chief minister. Legally and constitutionally, the resignation of the chief minister has to be given to the Governor either in person by Panneerselvam or by his authorised representative. Will there be any fireworks in the AIADMK over the developments which happened on Sunday?
Most political commentators in Tamil Nadu are of the view that the disintegration of the AIADMK has begun sooner than expected. A group of party workers has already floated All India Amma DMK with a separate party flag which has the pictures of Annadurai, MGR and Jayalalithaa in it.
[dropcap color=”#008040″ boxed=”yes” boxed_radius=”8px” class=”” id=””]S[/dropcap]asikala is not a member of the Legislative Assembly. Though there is nothing wrong in electing a non-member of the legislative assembly as the leader of the legislature party and chief minister, the person has to get elected as a member of the house within six months. Sasikala may contest the RK Nagar constituency (which was represented by Jayalalithaa) which is expected to go for a bypoll necessitated by the death of Jayalalithaa.
It is reported that 40 to 50 MLAs are waiting for the right moment to cross over to the DMK.
There are some apposite questions being asked by commentators. Is a person accused in three cases of Foreign Exchange Regulation Act is eligible for being appointed as the chief minister? “This is a question of propriety and moral turpitude. Let’s forget about her eligibility to contest the election. She is being sworn in as chief minister of a State. Is it proper for an accused in three serious cases to be sworn in as chief minister?” asked a senior lawyer in Madras High Court.
Well, anything can happen in Tamil Nadu now. With the passing away of Jayalalithaa, the State has lost the political stability for which Tamil Nadu was famous. It is reported that 40 to 50 MLAs are waiting for the right moment to cross over to the DMK. In Tamil Nadu legislative assembly, which has a total strength of 234, the AIADMK has 133 members while the DMK and its trusted allies command a strength of 98. If the DMK succeeds in making 30 members from the AIADMK to sit as a separate block in the assembly, the State will be in for political uncertainty and the violent Mannargudi breed cow may have to surrender to the Veera Vilayattu tamer of the DMK!
One more point to be noted as events unfolded in Chennai was the absence of the usual crowd in front of the AIADMK office. There was a time when traffic along Awwai Shanmugham Salai in Royapettah came to a grinding halt whenever Amma Jayalalithaa made it to the party headquarters. There was not even hundred people outside the AIADMK headquarters to greet Chinnamma who was “unanimously” elected leader of the legislature party…
The fat lady hasn’t sung. This opera is not over yet.
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