Turmoil in TN- Governor’s role: Theatre of Absurd?!


(MS Shanker)

The Governor’s role to break the political impasse is yet again under media scanner. Already, the Governor has taken over seven days to take a decision after Paneerselvam submitted his resignation and the AIDMK elected Sasikala as the Leader of the Legislature Party.

De facto, it’s O Paneerselvam, who proposed S K Sasikala’s name as new interim general secretary of the party and paved way for her to take over the reins of Chief Minister, by handing over his resignation to the Governor.

But, reasons best known to Paneerselvam, he raised a banner of revolt very next day, accusing two of his cabinet colleagues for forcing him to resign and nominate Sasikala.

Public outrage followed over Sasikala’s attempt to usurp power from certain sections of people that included Kamal Hasan.

Buyoed by increasing public sentiments against Sasikala’s usurpation of power and legacy of Jayalalitha, Paneerselvam has withdrawn his resignation under the plea that he was forced to take the decision.

Thus, the Governor is caught at the phenomenal cross roads. With passing days, MPs and even quite a few MLAs are reversing their support to Sasikala and extending support to Paneerselvam.

And, the buildup of crisis situation is real.  Sasikala has also given a stern message to the Governor to avoid further delay.  None can rule the possibility of Sasikala’s supporters resorting to protests with “murder of democracy” as the cause.

Politics – theatre of the absurd – is on grand display with all national media channels sensationalizing the ongoing political stalemate.

The Governor returned to Chennai only after people flayed his absence on the social media.  On return, the Governor met both warring groups of ruling AIADMK and also Stalin of the DMK.

If Paneerselvam asked Governor to accept his request to withdraw resignation and order for floor test, Sasikala submitted the list of 135 MLAs with signatures extending their support to her.   She claimed even Paneerselvam is one among the signatories, besides proposing her name.  Hence, she has legitimate right to stake claim to form the government as well 14th Chief Minister of the Tamil state.

Time is running out for the Governor Ch Vidyasagar Rao to take a decision.  He cannot prolong anymore, even under the garb of pending Supreme Court verdict on late Jayalalitha’s disproportionate assets case, in which Sasikala is also co-accused. He is left with no other option but to convene the Assembly and ask Sasikala to prove her majority.

If the apex court verdict goes against her, she will have to resign.

Now, ball is in Governor’s court.  Would he like join the past dubious record holders of Governors like Ramlals and Rajkovas or prove otherwise.  Already, the BJP led NDA and headed by Narendra Modi is under fire, for destabilizing two governments ever since it took over in 2014 – first Arunachal Pradesh and later Uttarakhand.  Now, the turn of down southern state Tamil Nadu.

Viewed in such a background, the Governor should not prevaricate or procrastinate any  longer lest he is accused of playing a diabolical game to politically destabilize Tamil Nadu paving the way to imposition of President’s Rule!