[dropcap color=”#008040″ boxed=”yes” boxed_radius=”8px” class=”” id=””]H[/dropcap]as the AIADMK fallen into the hands of a group of cutthroats, rascals and murderers? Is AIADMK obsessed with electing only people with criminal background to head the party as well as the government? These are the some of the questions coming to mind after seeing the way the party is run by its present leadership.
To his credit, Panneerselvam never entered the chief minister’s cabin even once but functioned from the small room he was allocated as PWD minister.
After the demise of Jayalalithaa on December 5, 2016, O Panneerselvam was sworn in as the chief minister. No one was surprised by this move as it was a foregone conclusion that the man from Periyakulam in Southern Tamil Nadu has always been the Mr Utility of the AIADMK.
When the Supreme Court declared in September 2001 that the appointment of Jayalalithaa as chief minister by the then governor Fatima Beevi was null, void and untenable, Panneerselvam, till then an unknown entity was handpicked by Jayalalityhaa herself and was appointed as chief minister to keep the chair warm for her.
To his credit, Panneerselvam never entered the chief minister’s cabin even once but functioned from the small room he was allocated as PWD minister. Once the apex court ruled in favour of Jayalalithaa, Panneerselvam gave way to his madam and remained in the background.
[dropcap color=”#008040″ boxed=”yes” boxed_radius=”8px” class=”” id=””]I[/dropcap]n 2014, when the special court at Bangalore convicted and sentenced Jayalalithaa to four years imprisonment, it was again the turn of Panneerselvam to stand in for his honourable Amma. He functioned as chief minister till the Karnataka High Court acquitted Jayalalithaa and associates of all charges in the Disproportionate Asset case. The moment it was known that the Karnataka High Court had ruled in favour of Jayalalithaa, Panneerselvan quit on his own so that Jayalalithaa could be sworn in again.
With the passing away of jayalalithaa, Panneerselvam was elevated to the post of chief minister. A CM without power, that was Panneerselvam.
By the time Jayalalithaa was admitted to the hospital in September 2016, Panneerselvam had become a persona nona grata to Sasikala and her gang. Though the cartel tried everything under its disposal to keep him away from the corridors of power, the governor picked him up as the number 2 in the cabinet. When Jayalalithaa passed away on December 5, 2016, someone somewhere had launched a drive to keep Panneerselvam away from Amma. But he remained cool.
With the passing away of jayalalithaa, Panneerselvam was elevated to the post of chief minister. A CM without power, that was Panneerselvam. He functioned as if Jayalalithaa was on a long foreign tour and he was the same old stand-in chief minister taking orders from the mafia surrounding Jayalalithaa.
The controversy related to the appointment of Sasikala, the housemaid who went on to become the madam of Veda Nilayam, the palatial house built by Jayalalithaa, as the interim secretary of the AIADMK has been detailed elsewhere. This column is an update about the happenings in the AIADMK since the Supreme Court pronounced the verdict in the disproportionate asset case on Tuesday morning.
[dropcap color=”#008040″ boxed=”yes” boxed_radius=”8px” class=”” id=””]S[/dropcap]asikala, who had claimed herself on Monday February 13 2017 that she was a lioness and had taught Jayalalithaa the basics of politics, broke down and wept uncontrollably when told about the Supreme Court verdict. She was at the sea side resort at Koovathur where she spent the Monday night with the 120 or odd MLAs kept under the watchful eyes of bouncers.
A convicted person cannot contest elections or hold public office for the period of his/ her conviction plus six years after the conviction.
Efforts are on to get bail and delay her surrender for four weeks. As per the Supreme Court order, the lioness has to report to the nearest police station from where she should be handed over to the Bangalore Parappana Agrahara Police Station officials who would transfer her to the Central Prison. Now, she will be out of action for ten years because of the verdict of the Lily Thomas Vs Union of India case. A convicted person cannot contest elections or hold public office for the period of his/ her conviction plus six years after the conviction. This means that Sasikala’s public life would be confined to the four walls of the Parappana Agrahara Central Jail for the first four years and then six years in the beach side house in Thiruvanmiyur in Chennai as the Veda Nilayam in Poes Garden would soon become a memorial for Jayalalithaa.
Palanisamy, who was holding the Public Works Department, State Highways (all known as ATM departments) is said to be the politician who is close to Sekhar Reddy, the PWD contractor from whose residences the Income Tax department officials seized Rs.130 crores worth brand new currencies of Rs.2,000 denomination.
[dropcap color=”#008040″ boxed=”yes” boxed_radius=”8px” class=”” id=””]T[/dropcap]he AIADMK leaders themselves claim that this money belongs to Palanisamy. “He is a seasoned businessman who has used his clout in the government. Edappadi Palanisamy is known as Commission Palanisamy among government contractors. Whether it is sand mininig, purchase of construction materials, or construction of buildings, this man has an insatiable greed for money,” said a long time colleague from Salem.
It has to be noted that the MLAs are still under the illegal custody of the Sasikala family and are literally under house arrest at the sea side resort guarded by private security personnel.
Palanisamy has also been allegedly mentioned as a partner by the investigating agencies in the case dealing with the raids held in the residences and business establishments of Shekhar Reddy and Chandrakant Ramalingam spread across Chennai, Bangalore and Erode. True Values, the company owned by Ramalingam, handles funds for about 18 banks and their ATMs. Both are big time PWD contractors. When two top bureaucrats were arrested in Bangalore on charges of road projects, the nexus between contractors and Edappadi Palanisamy has been brought to light. Remember the pictures of Sekhar Reddy and Panneerselvam worshipping at temples which went viral in the social media immediately after the arrest of the former? The inside information is that the picture was planted by Palanisamy and friends to discredit Panneerselvam. But this is not an attempt to portray Tamil Nadu’s chief minister as a role model of Dharma and good virtues. How can an AIADMK man, and that too one close to the party leadership remain honest?
Well, what has happened is that Palanisamy called on Governor Rao on Tuesday evening itself and submitted the letter signed by 123 MLAs.