Illness legacy of Tamil Nadu CMs

Prabhakara Sarma

CHENNAI: The Tamil Nadu State looks rudderless with Chief Minister Jayalalithaa taking seriously ill and the administration left in the hands of bureaucracy.

In fact, such a situation is not uncommon to Tamil Nadu. The first non-Congress Chief Minister and founder of Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (DMK), CN Annadurai, lay immobilised for long in 1969, leaving senior leaders like VR Nedunchezian, M Karunanidhi and MG Ramachandran a worried lot.

The situation was so bad that the death announcement of Annadurai in one morning left the people in Tamil Nadu shell-shocked. However, the news was immediately withdrawn. But Annadurai never really recovered and breathed his last a few days later.

His sudden demise led to a succession war between No 2 Nedunchezhian and No 3 Karunanidhi in the cabinet. The latter, however, managed to buy the support of legislators to become Chief Minister much to the chagrin of Nedunchezian.  After a lot of initial resistance, he finally rejoined the Cabinet.

Then there was MG Ramachandran who took ill during his tenure as Chief Minister. He stayed away from office for long and was treated in the US. His death in 1987 also led to an imbroglio in the State when his wife Janaki Ramachandran was made Chief Minister for a brief period.

Now jayalalithaa’s health is causing concern to the people in Tamil Nadu. Medical bulletins from Apollo Hospital where she has been undergoing treatment since September 22 stating “she is recovering” are hardly assuaging the feelings of Jayalalithaa’s millions of followers.

Quite a few, including her trusted lieutinent O Panneerselvam, are ready to hold the fort in her absence from office. But the people are praying for their beloved Chief Minister to recover and return to office as early as possible to put Tamil Nadu back on track.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.