The AIADMK crisis: who'll take the party forward?

Change of guard

In action as well as inaction, Governor Ch. Vidyasagar Rao stuck to the constitutional options available to him as he grappled with the rapid twists and turns in the political developments in Tamil Nadu over the last two weeks. There may be some things he could have done differently, but he called the big decisions right. Now, no one disputes that he did the right thing by waiting for the Supreme Court verdict in the disproportionate wealth case against V.K. Sasikala. He also didn’t waste too much time before swearing in Edappadi K. Palaniswami as Chief Minister once he was elected leader of the All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam Legislature Party following the judgment. To have allowed Ms. Sasikala to become Chief Minister at a time when the judgment was imminent or to have given outgoing Chief Minister O. Panneerselvam more time to muster support in the State Assembly would have been serious lapses on the Governor’s part. He did well to ignore the curious advice of Attorney General Mukul Rohatgi, who advocated a composite floor test. Leaving aside whether or not this suggestion reflected the desire of the Bharatiya Janata Party leadership at the Centre, which seemed favourably disposed to Mr. Panneerselvam, it would have resulted in splitting the AIADMK down the middle and plunging the State into political instability. There are precedents for a composite floor test, but these were conducted in truly extraordinary circumstances and when specifically mandated by the judiciary. The situation in Tamil Nadu did not warrant such a course.

 

By backing Mr. Palaniswami, the Sasikala camp may have succeeded in preventing further erosion of support among the public for the AIADMK, which seemed in danger of imploding at one time. The new Chief Minister belongs to the dominant Gounder community and enjoys a support base independent of the Sasikala clan. Unlike Mr. Panneerselvam, who was something of a diehard Sasikala loyalist before he switched sides, Mr. Palaniswami is known to keep his own counsel. But given the peculiar situation he finds himself in, he will probably have no choice but to carry along the members of the Sasikala clan. Particularly, he will have to work in close coordination with T.T.V. Dinakaran, Ms. Sasikala’s nephew, who will now run the party in her absence as the recently nominated deputy general secretary. It will be no surprise if Mr. Dinakaran, who was removed from the AIADMK in 2011 by Jayalalithaa for “interfering with government administration”, attempts to influence the affairs of the State government. Mr. Palaniswami will have to deal with such pressures, perhaps even rise above them, in the interests of Tamil Nadu. Many in the AIADMK have been tainted by corruption charges, and the onus is on him to replace those memories in the public mind with more immediate concerns of growth and development. He will have to save the AIADMK from itself.

Related Topics
This article is closed for comments.
Please Email the Editor

Printable version | Oct 27, 2020 6:43:06 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/opinion/editorial/Change-of-guard/article17314047.ece

In This Package
TN Govt. will not face any danger as long as it follows Jayalalithaa's path, says Dhinakaran
AIADMK reunion talks: Palaniswami faction sees contradictions in Panneerselvam camp
Behind the drama at the Tamil Nadu Assembly
Governor seeks report on Assembly incidents
Why is the AIADMK still in a crisis?
Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam leader M.K. Stalin sitting on a fast near the Gandhi statue in Chennai on Saturday in protest against the happenings in the Assembly.
Secret voting impossible, says Tamil Nadu Speaker
OPS camp rebuffed rival’s attempt at rapprochement in Assembly
Sasikala’s vow fulfilled, says Palaniswami
Edappadi government to face trust vote today
Tamil Nadu Governor Ch. Vidyasagar Rao greets Chief Minister Edappadi K. Palaniswami in Chennai.
Governor not ‘duty-bound’ by popular will, says SC
EC asks Sasikala to explain appointment as AIADMK interim general secretary
Sasikala’s elevation illegal: MPs tell Election Commission
Edappadi Palaniswami sworn in as Tamil Nadu Chief Minister
Jugaad jurisprudence, the Tamil Nadu way
You are reading Change of guard
Paying homage: Edappadi K. Palaniswami went to the Jayalalithaa memorial after being
sworn-in Chief Minister.
Floor test on February 18; Palaniswami confident about majority
Stalemate continues, but AIADMK patch-up in sight
OPS seeks floor test, joins hands with Deepa
A few good officers
Edappadi K. Palaniswami
Palaniswami stakes claim to form govt.
V.K. Sasikala is consoled by a woman on her way to Poes Garden after she left Golden Bay Resorts in Koovathur, on the outskirts of Chennai on Tuesday.
Bengaluru prepares for Sasikala’s arrival
Justice Roy exhorts citizens to fight ‘deadly affliction’ of corruption
From farmer to CM pick — the rise of a Jaya loyalist
Sasikala convicted in DA case; can't contest elections for 10 years
DA case: Swamy, the man who lodged the complaint
Special Public Prosecutor B.V. Acharya File photo
DA case verdict shows that the corrupt cannot escape from law, says Acharya
O. Panneerselvam and Deepa Jayakumar, along with senior AIADMK leaders, pay homage at the Jayalalithaa's memorial, in Chennai on Tuesday.
Panneerselvam, Deepa join hands at Jayalalithaa's memorial
AIADMK interim general secretary V.K. Sasikala.
Supreme Court verdict in Jaya assets case today
'Governor’s delay will pave way for horse trading'
Councillor announces her support to OPS
S.S. Saravanan MLA (third from left) Madurai south constituency extends his support to Chief Minister O. Panneerselvam, in Chennai on Monday.
MLAs at resort traumatised, says ‘escaped’ legislator Saravanan
Could have become CM the day Jaya died: Sasikala
AIADMK General Secretary V.K. Sasikala interacting with party MLAs at a resort in Koovathur near Chennai on Sunday.
Sasikala stays back with flock, MLA ‘escapes’
‘Stop meddling in TN’
A look at the legal cases that Sasikala faces
Cartoonscape — February 13, 2017
Supreme Court verdict in DA case: what are the possible outcomes?
How the battle for CM will proceed on the floor of the house
AIADMK crisis: Conduct floor test, A-G Rohatgi tells Governor
AIADMK General Secretary V.K. Sasikala interacting with party MLAs at a resort in Koovathur near Chennai on Sunday.
An AIADMK MLA escapes from resort, joins OPS camp
Sasikala presents legislators before media, denies coercion
OPS, Sasikala greet Governor on his birthday
AIADMK legislators being held captive, tortured by goons, alleges Panneerselvam
MLAs at resort ‘shielded’ from media, visitors
A selfie moment for the sea of visitors to CM’s house
Karur, Dindigul ex-MLAs support Panneerselvam
Sasikala urges MLAs not to miss opportunity to form government
Puducherry AIADMK MLAs adopt ‘wait and watch’ policy
Governor has to decide TN CM issue by Monday, else case can be filed: Swamy
More AIADMK leaders switch camps, back Panneerselvam
Why Sasikala may not expel the dissident legislators
Growing support for OPS derailed Sasikala camp's plans
AIADMK general secretary V.K. Sasikala submitting the list of MLAs supporting her to Tamil Nadu Governor Ch. Vidyasagar Rao
Sasikala urges Governor to 'act soon'
O. Panneerselvam and V.K. Sasikala
Two MPs extend support to OPS
A small road leading to the resort at Koovathur saw a flurry of activity, with many AIADMK leaders and Ministers visiting the MLAs on Friday.
Not forced to stay at resort: AIADMK MLAs
E. Madhusudhanan flanked by O. Panneerselvam and K.P. Munusamy addresses the media in Chennai on Friday.
Expulsions galore as factions await Governor’s call
AIADMK general secretary V.K. Sasikala leaves after paying her tributes at the Jayalalithaa memorial, in Chennai on Thursday.
Swearing-in delayed to split party: Sasikala
After MGR’s demise in 1987 the party split, with Jayalalithaa heading one faction and MGR’s widow, Janaki Ramachandran, leading the other with the support of senior leaders such as Rm. Veerappan. Janaki was made Chief Minister on January 7, 1988, with the support of 97 members in a House of 234, after she won the confidence motion in a voting marred by allegations of foul play. The Union government led by Rajiv Gandhi dismissed her government.
Jayalalithaa vs Janaki: The last succession battle
Sasikala misconstrued my praise for OPS: Duraimurugan
AIADMK power struggle: Movers and shakers
Sasikala broke promise, betrayed Jayalalithaa: Panneerselvam
Panneerselvam camp files formal complaint against ‘illegal confinement’ of MLAs
WhatsApp forwards exhort MLAs to support OPS
Governor holds talks with Girija Vaidhyanathan
Will she, won’t she? The wait for Deepa continues
TN Governor likely to await SC judgement in Sasikala case
SC refuses urgent hearing on plea to restrain Sasikala from taking over as CM
O. Panneerselvam and V.K. Sasikala
Making sense of the numbers game
Cartoonscape — February 10, 2017
‘Every member of Sasikala’s family controls party now’
Pro-Sasikala MLAs get barrage of calls
AIADMK general secretary V.K. Sasikala leaves after paying her tributes at the Jayalalithaa memorial, in Chennai on Thursday.
Sasikala stakes claim, all eyes on Governor
O. Panneerselvam and V.K. Sasikala
Tamil Nadu witnesses its own Game of Thrones
Former Finance Minister P. Chidambaram.
There is a disconnect between ruling party leaders and people of Tamil Nadu: Chidambaram
AIADMK MPs rally behind Sasikala
Governor could exercise ‘window of discretion’ to delay swearing-in: Chidambaram
In TN, all eyes on Raj Bhavan now
A stopgap Chief Minister who became unstoppable
AIADMK MLAs in Puducherry play it safe
Stalin demands CBI inquiry into threat to Panneerselvam
Support pours in for OPS in Thoothukudi
DMK slams Sasikala, seeks CBI probe into Panneerselvam’s allegations
No one can divide AIADMK, says Sasikala
Panneerselvam dismisses Sasikala’s charge of DMK conspiracy
Tamil Nadu Chief Minister O. Panneerselvam speaking to mediapersons on Wednesday.
Judicial inquiry will be ordered into Jayalalithaa's death: Panneerselvam
Twitterati give Panneerselvam a big thumbs up
Attorney General Mukul Rohatgi
No legal problem to Sasikala's appointment as CM: A-G
Tamil Nadu CM O. Panneerselvam at the Jayalalithaa memorial
OPS revolts, says he was forced to quit
Former speaker P.H. Pandian hits out at Sasikala
Sasikala not eligible to become CM, says AIADMK leader
Party cadres greet V.K. Sasikala.
No clarity on date of Sasikala’s swearing-in
Next Story