OPS is UPStart now in AIADMK. Cadre under OPS Vs Cabinet under Sasikala?


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‘Anarchy/Alarm Bells Ringing’ within AIADMK

The situation is getting murkier in Tamil Nadu Governance and politics. This morning, a senior AIADMK member and (ex-Speaker TN assembly), Mr PH Pandian and his advocate son, Mr Manoj Pandian set the cat among the pigeons.  

‘Sasikala commandeered the AIADMK Leadership’

The Pandians were raising questions on the root cause of Jayalalithaa’s death and on the way Sasikala Natarajan has commandeered the AIADMK Leadership. They were taking umbrage at the very appointment of Chinamma (alias Sasikala) as the General Secretary of the AIADMK, since they claimed she was not even a proper member of the party. The by-laws of the AIADMK, thus did not permit Sasikala to become the General Secretary, they observed.

‘Chief Minister coerced to resign’

Sasikala coercing the Current CM to resign to take over the CM role triggered the Pandians’ press meet.  An important aspect of the Pandian’s press meet was also the possibility of Amma’s death being unnatural. They believed circumstantial evidence pointed that way. 

The Marina Meditation. OPS becomes ‘UPStart’. Raises Banner of Revolt

Mr O Panneerselvam ensured that he took the centre stage in public discussions late Tuesday evening. He proved he had learnt atleast some elements of  the ‘trade’ and how to handle situations well under Amma. He went to her ‘Memorial’ and meditated before addressing the media. During this interaction with the media persons, he expressed displeasure with Sasikala Natarajan’s handling of the AIADMK and her blunt desire for power at the party and State Leadership levels.  

Man Your Goodies, Tamil Nadu! The Mannargudi Mafia well at work. 

Mr OPS’ decision to be the latest UPStart in Tamil Nadu politics has definitely cheered many sections of the AIADMK. The Cadre has not been happy with their Leaders (Ministers and respective senior party members). The perception was that the Leaders had sold themselves to Sasikala and her core Mannargudi team. In return, Sasikala let them continue in their respective roles as Ministers or stakeholders. Mr PH Pandian’s and OPS’  talk to the media has now enthused the Cadre, which has been unhappy about the hold Sasikala has had on the party. 

Governor Rao having a wait and watch approach

The Governor of Tamil Nadu had accepted OPS’ resignation. But he had also asked him to continue in office, pending suitable replacement. Sasikala had been wishing to be administered the Oath of Office shortly after OPS’ resignation, but the Governor does not seem to be in any hurry to invite Sasikala. The latest turn of events may even make him adopt a wait and watch attitude.

The ‘banner of revolt’ in the party may not be the only aspect preying on the minds of the affected or related figures. Another Damocles’ sword hanging for Sasikala is the Supreme Court verdict awaited in the Disproportionate Assets case. This is the case where Sasikala and Jayalalithaa have been fighting for long.     

The party in power at the Centre, the BJP with its relative inability to make much inroads in TN must also be weighing options.  Amit and Modi, amid all the din in Chennai, must be looking for the best way to leverage the situation.    

Cool Chilli’s Comments

Observers could say Sasikala is not very polished. But no one can take away from her the sheer audacity  of her moves. In a  very efficient (if not delicate manner), she has worked to move ahead in the direction she wanted. Towards Chief Minister-ship. But her Audacity gives little Hope for Tamil Nadu.

The developments with some key AIADMK members/ rebels coming out openly against Sasikala, would queer the pitch for her. There are talks afoot about whether OPS will be able to take a sizeable chunk of the AIADMK MLAs in the TN assembly. Almost the entire cabinet of OPS is with her.  A sizable number of the 128 AIADMK MLAs may have no strong reason to turn against Sasikala. It may make sense for them to bide their time with Sasikala and milk their position. The MLAs may think it is better to bow and crawl, rather than risk losing seats, were a re-election forced and therefore the odds are against OPS and the ‘rebels’.

‘No regard needed for the Cadre’

It is almost certain that Sasikala does not enjoy any support from the AIADMK cadre or the man and woman on the street. The voice of the people may not have much bearing now. What an irony, in a democracy!  The MLAs they have elected will now decide. Servants of the people, verily are masters of their fate.  

As this goes to post, some quarters suggest the common man/students may ‘rise up’ again. Catching a bull by its horns or rather hump may seem like students’s play compared to predicting or influencing the political weather (forget climate) in Tamil Nadu.  Time will slowly unfold how it wishes to test the people of Tamil Nadu further.