Thursday, 16 February 2017

Modi bites dust in Tamilnadu

Jayalalitha expired on December 5, 2016 and O.Paneer Selvam became Chief Minister of Tamilnadu for third time. On Sun Feb 5, 2017, Tamil Nadu Chief Minister O.Panneerselvam,  tendered his resignation from the post citing 'personal reasons' and Governor accepted the same. In a separate but near identical letters, Panneerselvam thanked Prime Minister Modi and Governor Ch.Vidyasagar Rao for all the support and cooperation extended by them during his term. After O.Paneer Selavam submitted his resignation as CM of Tamilnadu and Leader of the AIADMK legislature party and he himself had proposed Sasikala as Leader of the AIADMK legislature party. Same day and AIADMK MLAs elected party chief V K Sasikala as their leader, paving the way for her appointment as Chief Minister. 

At this juncture Modi & BJP saw an opportunity to gain foothold in Tamilnadu, with just 2.86% vote share and lost all 232 seats contested in 2016 elections. Governor, Ch.Vidyasagar Rao (a BJP leader) indicated that in the interest of forming a stable government, he would wait for SC judgement, in a DA case against Jayalalitha, Sasikala, Elavarasi & Sudhakaran, and had traveled from Delhi to Mumbai instead of to Chennai. Governor's action of not inviting majority party leader to form government, on some pretext or other, is fundamentally incorrect, unprecedented, irrational and blatantly unconstitutional & illegal as there is no bar on a person holding constitutional positions until convicted and jailed. Presumptive action by Governor is in violation of fundamental principles of democracy is untenable and despicable. At the same time the outgoing CM O.Paneer Selvam changed his mind and revolted against Sasikala charging her with applying pressure to sign resignation and requested Governor to permit him withdraw the resignation which was already accepted and is unmaintainable. On Feb 14, 2016 SC delivered judgement upholding Trial Court's conviction judgement in toto, setting aside HC's acquittal judgement, and Governor's stand seems to be vindicated but still is unconstitutional and amounts to overreaching his powers. 

Modi's game plan got tumbled with Paneer Selvam unable to obtain switch of 20 MLAs from Sasikala's group camping at Mahabalipuram resort to his side that could topple Sasikala's claim, with the support of DMK & Congress, arch rivals of Sasikala, despite seven days of time. Going by the inordinate delay in Governor inviting Sasikala to form Government and tone of statements by Paneer Selvam it is clear to everyone that Modi is behind Paneer Selvam's histrionics. Sasikala before proceeding to Bangalore jail got K.Palani Swamy elected as AIADMK legislature party leader with 124 MLA's signing the support document and Governor, Ch.Vidyasagar Rao has no option but to invite Sasikala's proxy K.Palani Swamy to form government and obtain confidence of house within 15 days.

Thus, Modi is once again is at receiving end in Tamilnadu, after his failed adventures in Bihar, Uttarakhand and Arunachal Pradesh, in the past denting his already spoiled image further badly.

My View:
Modi and BJP's game plan to gain foot hold in every state without winning hearts of the people by sheer manipulations is totally against the principles of democracy and making mockery of governance. With Sasikala in jail, and thin majority of 124 against 117, how long K.Palani Swamy government will survive is a million dollar question. A switch by 10 MLAs will pull down the government for which DMK, BJP and Congress would be anxious to do at the earliest opportunity. If that happens, most likely it will in next few months, midterm poll becomes inevitable and DMK & Stalin would be in a position of advantage.

Sensing the reality, the parties behind Paneerselvam namely BJP, DMK & Congress distanced themselves and are trying to be neutral in the forthcoming floor test of new CM Palaniswamy and allowing Paneerselvam to get isolated.

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