Voice from the Rooftop

Blog of Vincent Augustine D'Souza

Instability in Tamil Nadu

There is many a slip between the cup and the lip.
So it was for V. K. Sasikala, also known as Sasikala Natarajan, who was close to becoming Chief Minister and missed.
On 5/2/2017 AIADMK MLAs elected Sasikala their leader and she was expected to become CM on 7 or 9 of February. O. Panneerselvam resigned as CM of Tamil Nadu and Governor C. Vidyasagar Rao accepted his resignation on 6 February. Tamil Nadu does not have a full Governor. C. Vidyasagar Rao is Governor of Maharashtra who holds additional charge of Tamil Nadu. He was in Maharashtra. His presence was needed for swearing-in of Sasikala. Meanwhile Panneerselvam continued as caretaker CM.
Many in Tamil Nadu were not happy on Sasikala becoming CM. They expressed their displeasure in social media. Supreme Court said it will announce the judgment in Disproportionate Assets case involving Sasikala next week. On the night of 7/2/2017 Panneerselvam went to the tomb of Jayalalitha and meditated there for some time. After that he said his resignation was coerced. Some MPs and MLAs switched sides. On 8/2/2017 Sasikala took majority of MLAs to a resort.
Vidyasagar Rao came to Madras on 9/2/2017. He met Panneerselvam and Sasikala. He consulted lawyers.
On 14/2/2017 Supreme Court delivered its judgment. There was talk of two separate judgments from Supreme Court judges in DA case. There was possibility of one judge acquitting and another judge convicting Sasikala. That did not happen. Sasikala was guilty. She has to go to prison. After prison term she cannot contest elections for six years. Supreme Court did not grant Sasikala’s wish for more time to surrender.
Many have questioned the role of Governor. Some wanted him to swear in Sasikala. Some said he should wait for Supreme Court judgment. After the Supreme Court judgment Sasikala was out of the equation. She made Edappadi K. Palanisami leader of her faction. Some see BJP hand in Governor’s action. Some are unhappy that Tamil Nadu does not have a full Governor. Since Modi became PM many Governors have held additional charges. It seems BJP does not have enough persons who can be Governors. Every state in India should have a full Governor.
In January Tamil Nadu was in news because of jallikattu. This month it was because of uncertainty about CM.
Panneerselvam wants to turn Jayalalitha’s residence into a memorial. That will prevent Sasikala’s family from occupying it. Sasikala has lived there for many years.
Sasikala going to jail did not result in MLAs with her switching to Panneerselvam. There is uncertainty about his future as CM. If Palanisami becomes CM he too may not last long. It seems Tamil Nadu will have President’s Rule followed by fresh elections. It is sad if a government falls within a year. We need to have Presidential System to have stable governments and avoid dissolution of Legislative Assemblies and House of People.

Updated: February 16, 2017 — 7:39 am

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