Friday, February 10, 2017

Ball is in Guv's court

Governor Vidya Sagar Rao must not ask either Sasikala or O Paneerselvam to form the govt. until and unless he is satisfied about the one who has majority in the house. Tamil Nadu acting Chief Minister O Paneerselvam's sudden conscience call to revolt against AIADM General Secretary Sasikala in whose favour he had resigned on Sunday to facilitate her to be the chief minister so that the command of the party and the government could be in one hand has plunged the state in administrative turmoil. Since the revolt of OPS against her by sitting on meditation for 45 minutes before the memorial of former late CM J Jaylaliththa on the call of her spirit, Governor Vidya Sagar Rao has been out of state. He is also the governor of Maharastra. But his absence from Chennai for almost a week when administrative uncertainty looms large on the state has also been criticized. Though Sasikal met the Governor with of all the 133 party MLAs and she has submitted their signature in her support to him while staking claim to form the government, OPS has also gathered overwhelming support of the people in the state. It is also alleged that Sasikala has herded all the 133 MLAs to a resort so that the rival camp could not poach on them. It has also been alleged that they have been made captive. Though it is a matter of investigation to know what exactly has happened, Governor Vidya Sagar Rao has rightly asked the DGP to see whether the MLAs are in captivity at the Golden Resort in Mahabalipuram 65 KMs away from Chennai. Sasikal has been the closet aide of Jaya while OPS has been her trusted lieutenant. Whenever Amma had to leave Chief Minister's post because of her going to jail or indisposed health, OPS was handed over the responsibility of CM. Sasilaka has never been among the people so she has no connectivity with them. She also also has never entered any electoral fray at any level. The majority of MLAs may have been with her, but the sentiment of the people in the state is with OPS. He is a mass leader and has been among the people of the state. As far as the claim of majority support is concerned, the floor of the assembly is the most suitable place to test. The number of MLAs required for majority in the assembly of 234 is 118. It will be in accordance with the constitution for the Governor to parade all the MLAS to satisfy himself about the majority. The two factions have already staked claim to be the Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu, but the political battle does not seem to end between Sasikala and O Panneerselvam. She has staked claim to form the govt. after submitting a letter of MLAs’ support to the Governor. Her letter contained the names of supporting MLAs. She also submitted individual letters of support furnished by AIADMK MLAs. Now the Governor is in the process of verifying the signatures. On the other hand, Panneerselvam met acting Governor Vidyasagar Rao, and too claimed he still has the right to be Chief Minister as he was coerced into resigning. He has alleged that the signatures submitted by Sasikala are forged. Sasikala is a co-accused in a Disproportionate Assets case. Disproportionate assets case should not be a hurdle in Sasikala’s way to take oath as its hearing is yet to start in Supreme Court. If she enjoys majority to the satisfaction of the governor, she should be sworn-in as CM and asked to prove her majority on the floor of the assembly. The Karnataka government has challenged her acquittal in the case by the High Court and this judgement is expected next week. Next move of the Governor is likely to settle the dust in the state politics which is going through turmoil.

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