RK Nagar Poll By-Poll When Situation Becomes Conducive: EC

The by-poll in RK Nagar Assembly constituency will be held only after the atmosphere becomes conducive, says the Election Commission.

New Delhi:  As AIADMK (Amma) faction MLAs started rallying behind its deputy general secretary TTV Dhinakaran, threatening the government of Edappadi Palanisamy, the Election Commission informed the Centre that the situation in the RK Nagar constituency has not improved to conduct the elections.

According to the statement by EC, “After taking all relevant factors into account, the EC, hereby certifies that the process of a by-election to RK Nagar constituency could not be held within the period contemplated (within six month-i.e, June 4) according to Section 151A of The Representation of the People Act. The said by-election will now be held when the situation in the constituency becomes conducive for the conduct of a free and fair election.”

The commission said that the election will be conducted only when the situation improves. “The by-election would now be held when the situation in the constituency concerned becomes conducive to the conduct of the free and fair election,” said the statement.

Rajesh Lakhoni, Chief Electoral Officer, had also submitted a report asking for an extension of the time period to conduct the elections.

The Election Commission cancelled the by -poll of RK Nagar on April 9, 2017, on voter bribing and corruption allegations. The election was scheduled to be held on April 12. The voter bribing came to light when IT officials conducted a raid at the residence of Vijayabhaskar and found documents that revealed Rs. 90 crore was distributed to the voters in the constituency.

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AIADMK‘S Troubles Appear Never Ending

A day after a sting operation by two TV channels revealed that AIADMK Sasikala faction paid money to MLAs to vote in their favour, a fake Rajya Sabha ID card was recovered from the middleman in the EC bribery case, giving a chance to DMK to step up its attack.

New Delhi: Giving yet another shock to the AIADMK government, a fake Rajya Sabha ID card has been recovered from Sukesh Chandrasekhar, the middle man in the EC bribery case, which involves TTV Dhinakaran, the nephew of Sasikala Natarajan.

While, a sting operation carried by two TV channels revealed that the AIADMK faction under VK Sasikala paid money to MLAs to sway votes in their favour ahead of the floor test in the State Assembly, freshly the issue of fake ID card are ringing danger bells to Edappadi government.

Already the DMK has sprung into action and is getting ready to submit representations to Governor and President of India on this issue. The fresh revelation will only be a shot in the arm to DMK to prove dishonest ways AIADMK faction is following to retain power.

The fresh revelation is related to the cash-for-symbol controversy during the by-election of RK Nagar. Chandrasekhar was arrested earlier in connection with this.

The Delhi Police which is investigating the case already established the bribery link, now the fresh revelation made the police case stronger against the accused. The police have added the investigative agency to add sections 467 of the Indian Penal Code, which is related to forgery and has a maximum sentence of 10 years.

Now, along with Chandrasekar, even Dhinakaran and others are in a soup, as this is considered more serious involving security.

Though Dhinakaran is out on bail, the cash for symbol case is only getting murkier. The police sources said that Dhinakaran was willing to pay ₹ 50 crore to get the AIADMK party symbol and appropriate late Jayalalithaa’s legacy.

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Is Sasikala Going Into Political Oblivion?

With Dinakaran going to jail and nobody else to depend upon, Sasikala’s fall seems a reality. Sasikala is slowly becoming a non-entity to the party and the people, as leaders stopped coming to her darshan at her prison.

Bengaluru: The turn of events that are taking place in AIADMK are only leading to more disappointments to Chinnama (Sasikala). She is being shattered by these events.

Sasikala, a close aide to former Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa and the party’s general secretary soon after Jaya’s death, now seems to have lost the game. The way the events are turning, there is every chance that people might forget her in the coming days.

Especially, the recent developments involving her nephew TTV Dinakaran have been a major blow to her morale that she had been keeping up from the day one at the Parappara Agrahara Prison.

According to reports, Sasikala refused to eat dinner on Tuesday night and asked jail staff to inform her about the latest news on her nephew Dinakaran. She reportedly appeared tense. Around midnight, she got the news that Dinakaran was arrested by the Delhi police for allegedly trying to bribe Election Commission of India to retain two leaves symbol. Hearing the news, she collapsed on her bed, claimed some reports.

Though she came out of her cell the next morning, she refused to have breakfast. She is a chronic diabetic patient. The jail doctors suggested her not to skip breakfast, keeping her health in view. However, Sasikala refused to heed, and reportedly said that she was not in a mood to eat anything.

A top prison official, speaking to the national channel on condition of anonymity said that there was a remarkable change in her behavior, when she came to know that the Delhi police arrested the alleged broker Sukesh Chandrashekhar. Sasikala, who appeared confident till that day, became pale once she came to know about the arrest, the official said.

Before the merger talks between OPS and EPS factions came into focus, the official said that a lot of top AIADMK leaders and ministers used to wait outside the jail just to meet Chinnamma. However, she used to meet only a few of them, as there used to be a steady flow of high-profile visitors from Chennai, he explained.

Once she was removed from the post of AIADMK general secretary, all of it came to a standstill, he said.

The officer said that not even a single visitor came to visit her in the last one week. This is making her restless, he added. She appeared confident when Dinakaran was out, she thought he would help her and keep the party in his grip. With Dinakaran’s arrest, her hopes seem to have shattered. She seemed alone and helpless, the officer said.

Meanwhile, sources say that she is still getting home-cooked food, as a local AIADMK leader took that responsibility. However, the official said that he was not sure if the home cooked food would continue to arrive at the jail in the future.

Remarking that Sasikala had never expected such turn of events, he said, she lost all her confidence. In the initial months, hundreds of AIADMK leaders from different parts of Tamil Nadu used to visit her to express their solidarity. But now, the flow has literally stopped, he said.

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Why Sasikala’s Elevation Cannot Be Faulted?

Sanjaya

Chennai: Strong objections raised by opposition leaders at Sasikala Natarajan assuming the leadership of AIADMK legislature party are mostly subjective disregarding the recent political history of the country.  The main opposition, DMK, said it cannot accept Sasikala as chief minister since she has no experience. The party described Sunday, when Sasikala was chosen leader of the AIADMK, as the black day for Tamil Nadu. The BJP also commented on the transition saying that there was no need for the unseemly hurry. The Congress party, an ally of the DMK, is divided on this issue. Deepa, Jayalalithaa’s niece has strongly opposed Sasikala for usurping power without any moral sanction. The other Sasikala, who is a Rajya Sabha Member opposed to both Jayalalithaa and Sasikala Natarajan, has once again attacked the presumptive chief minister for looting the State and playing tricks with the party MLAs.

The fact of the matter is Sasikala, Chinnamma, enjoys the support of all the MLAs belonging to her party. Chief Minister O Panneerselvam had submitted resignation on his own and persuaded Sasikala to take over the reins, as told by Sasikala herself. Not one out of 134 AIADMK MLAs has spoken against the unanimous decision of the legislature party to request Sasikala to take charge of the government. How can this decision be disputed.

The political history of Independent India is replete with instances where prime ministers and chief ministers who did not have majority support of MPs or MLAs. The Congress party which ruled the country for almost 60 years is foremost in this anti-democratic ways. Charan Singh, Chandrasekhar and Deve Gouda were able to become prime ministers due to the support extended by the Congress party. IK Gujral was promoted by the National Front whose convener N Chandrababu Naidu was instrumental in elevating the former external affairs minister of State. The number of chief ministers imposed by the Congress high command cannot be counted. After Kasu Brahmananda Reddy, no leader who became chief minister, had ever enjoyed majority support. The only strength was the backing given by the high command. Once the support was withdrawn the concerned chief minister had to meekly resign. N Janardhan Reddy, Bhavanam Venkatram, Rosaiah and Kiran Kumar Reddy were among the anointed chief ministers who presided over the destiny of undivided Andhra Pradesh without enjoying popular support. The practice of imposing chief ministers was not exclusively AP -centric. Almost all the States that were under Congress rule had chief ministers picked up by the party high command without holding any elections to decide who should become leader of the legislature party. Internal democracy was given a decent burial by the Grand Old Party. While former union minister Renuka Chowdary, MP, has supported Sasikala’s elevation, former finance minister P Chidambaram has ridiculed the party for choosing Sasikala. He took potshots at AIADMK saying that the party is going in ‘opposite direction.’ The BJP is no different in this aspect. It also anoints the chief ministers. The chief minister of Haryana, a rank outsider, was picked up by the party since he had strong links with the RSS. So was the case with Devendra Phadnavis, Maharastra’s chief minister. When every party had done away with the process of electing leaders of the legislature party, how can anyone find fault with the election of Sasikala Natarajan. What about Chandrababu Naidu snatching the reins from his leader and father-in-law NT Rama Rao in a palace coup? People voted for NTR in 1994 elections, not for Naidu. But none of these opposition leaders questioned the legitimacy of Naidu’s government that was formed after dethroning NTR in 1995.  One DMK leader was suggesting that if the leaders of the DMK think that only 134 MLAs make the party without any consultations with almost 1.5 crore members of the party. It should apply to DMK also whose supreme leader M Karunanidhi has appointed his son, Stalin, his successor in spite of opposition from his elder son, Azhagiri. In the same way, the AIADMK legislature party has handpicked its leader, Jayalalithaa’s successor.

[box type=”info” fontsize=”20″ radius=”12″]Sasikala To Take Oath On Tuesday :The historic Madras University Hall will witness yet another swearing-in ceremony by a chief minister. Sasikala Natarajan, General Secretary of AIADMK, who was elected as leader of the legislature party, will be taking oath at 8.45 am or 11 am on Tuesday, the 7th. J Jayalalithaa also took her oath in the same premises twice. [/box]

The media conference held by Richard Beale, the London doctored who treated J Jayalalithaa at the Apollo Hospitals here before she succumber, on Monday wherein he said the late chief minister died of natural reasons. She was suffering from severe diabetes and she developed sepsis when in ICU. He made it clear that only complications in her health condition and not conspiracy had killed the late leader. Putting rumours at rest would help Sasikala since she was accused of plotting the death of Jayalalithaa. Apollo doctors said Jaya went through trachetomy when her health failed. She had put her finger print on the election paper, the doctors said. Doctors said there was no political pressure on them to address media conference and clarify things. They said Sasikala was briefed about Jayalalithaa’s health every day. It is the second good news for her coming on the day after getting elected as AIADMK legislature party leader. She would be sworn in by Governor Channamaneni Vidyasagara Rao on Tuesday, the 7th, at 9-45 am.

Sasikala has, of course, a number of challenges before her. She has been a partner of J Jayalalithaa in all omissions and commissions. There are a number of allegations against Sasikala. The disproportionate assets case against J Jayalalithaa is before the apex court which is likely to decide in a week. Sasikala also is an accused in the case.  There are many dissenting voices inside and outside the ruling party in Tamil Nadu. The dissenters may mobilize support in future. Jaya’s lookalike niece Deepa is an emerging leader. Sasikala may not lose power as early as the first woman chief minister of Tamil Nadu, Janaki Ramachandran, MGR’s wife, did. She may not last as long as the second woman chief minister, Jayalalithaa, did since the age is against her. Sasikala is already 60. Can she complete the term left out by JJ is the question. Can she compete with Stalin in 2021 elections for assembly is the bigger question. All depends on the way the new leader conducts herself. In the elections held on 16 May 2016, the AIADMK had won 135 out of 232 seats. The DMK got 89, the Congress 8 and the Indian Union Muslim League one seat. The Anna Nagar seat in Chennai won by late Jayalalitha is now vacant for Sasikala to contest in the by-election.

2 Responses

  1. Anonymous says:

    Smt Sasikala Natarajan has enough experience to lead TN and she can do better for citizens of the State.
    There is no question to be raised that directly about her eligibility to be elevated she as C M. There are many examples to show in the Country itself .
    With due respect, I congratulate her on getting elevated as C M of T N .May Gid bless her to be able to serve the State like late Hon’ble J Jayalalithaa .
    Dr Vinid K Tewari,Advocate
    Supreme Court of India
    Email vinodktewari6@gmail.com

    • Anonymous says:

      WHY SASIKALA elevation Cant be faulted,
      This should happen when Lalu Prasad Yadav made Rabri Devi as CM, no one questioned Is this now a hipocracy?

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Sasikala To Take Over As General Secretary of AIADMK

Chennai: Sasikala Natarajan will take over the reins of AIADMK on Saturday when she assumes office as General Secretary. She would be filling the place occupied by J Jayalalithaa for 28 years. Sasikala had lived with the former chief minister of Tamil Nadu for more than three decades.

Chief Minister O Panneerselvan gave Sasikala a letter at Poes Garden on Thursday stating that she was unanimously elected as General Secretary of the ruling party. OPS had maintained the same old demeanour with a face sans smile or expression while handing over the letter to Chinnamma, as Sasikala is popularly known. Whether Chinnamma would occupy the chair of Amma at the secretariat also by unseating the incumbent chief minister immediately or wait for some time is a matter of anybody’s guess.

There were violent scenes at the party headquarters the other day when Rajya Sabha Member Sasikala Pushpa’s husband Lingeswar was beaten up by Chinnamma’s followers when he tried to submit a nomination for the post of General Secretary.

CR Saraswati, a spokesperson of the AIADMK found fault with the comments passed by a Madras High Court judge suspecting the circumstances that led to the death of Jayalalithaa. She said the judge should have kept the feelings of the party workers while commenting on the demise of Amma. Saraswati asked why should the leaders of the AIADMK lie for 75 days about Anna’s death.  The judge said he also had some doubts about the way the treatment of Jayalalithaa was kept under wraps. ‘Why not the court order that the body be exhumed,’ he asked loudly.

Leaders of the opposition parties like Stalin, Vaigo and Ramdas also demanded that a commission be appointed to probe into the death of Purutchi Talaivi. They said the government of Tamil Nadu had announced the death and not the hospital. They demanded that the footage of the film taken at the hospital be released.

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Sasikala to lead AIADMK

Chennai: The AIADMK has announced that Chinnamma, as Sasikala Natarajan is called, would take the reins of the party very soon. Chinnamma, 54, was very close to periamma J Jayalalithaa who passed away ten days ago. She would be taking over as General Secretary very soon, said AIADMK spokesman C Ponnaiyan on Thursday here. “It is the desire of the entire party. Sasikala has functioned as the conscience of Amma”, he said.

Jayalalithaa, the supreme leader of AIADMK, was called Amma, mother, by the devoted supporters of the party. She died of cardiac arrest on 5th December 2016 at Apollo Hospitals where she had been under treatment for 74 days since September 22.

Sasikala Natarajan who lived with Jayalalithaa for more than 30 years in the huge palatial bungalow at Poes Garden is called Chinnamma, mother’s younger sister. Jayalalithaa was succeeded by her loyalist O Pannerselvam who was given oath of office for the third time. He was made chief minister twice during Jayalalithaa’s tenure when she had to demit office on account of court strictures.  

The enigmatic Sasikala played a major role in Jayalalithaa’s life and death. She was the only point of contact for the outside world as well as for the party MLAs during Jayalalithaa’s hospitalisation. The VIPs who went to Apollo Hospitals to see Jayalalithaa while she was undergoing treatment had to meet Sasikala and go back without seeing the ailing chief minister. There have been a number of complaints against Sasikala saying that she was responsible for the death of Purutchi Talaivi (The Revolutionary Leader) as Jayalalithaa was called.

Film actor Gauthami wrote to the Prime Minister requesting him to order a probe into the circumstances that led to the chief minister’s demise. She questioned the veil of secrecy around the departed leader. A voluntary organization based in Chennai filed a writ petition in Supreme Court begging for an inquiry.

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Jayalalithaa is ‘very well’: AIADMK

Chennai: Innumerable admirers and followers of Tamil Nadu Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa can look forward to celebrate Diwali with double delight. The usual festive spirit got a shot in the arm with the AIADMK announcement on Wednesday that Jayalalithaa “is very well and will return home soon.”

She was admitted to Apollo Hospital on September 22 after she complained of fever and dehydration. Periodical health bulletins issued by Apollo have stated that she is recovering and the CM’s health condition is improving gradually.

To ally people’s worries about Jayalalithaa’s health condition, Raj Bhavan has recently issued a press release stating that, “Dr Pratap C Reddy, Chairman of Apollo Hospitals, had briefed the Governor on the treatment being given to Jayalalithaa by a team of experts including doctors of Critical Care Group, senior cardiologist, senior respiratory physician, dieticians and diabetologist, among others. Reddy told the Governor that Jayalalithaa continues to be under treatment and observation for all vital parameters, respiratory support and passive physiotherapy.”

In another positive sign that she is on the road to recovery, Kerala CM Oommen Chandy has confirmed what the doctor have been saying after a visit to Apollo a few days back. He said he had conferred with doctors and their overall assessment of her health was optimistic.

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Jaya’s niece comes into public in succession bid

CHENNAI: Tamil Nadu Chief Minister Jayalalithaa has been at Apollo Hospital since September 22. Except doctors and her closest aides visiting her, no one has ever seen the Chief Minister’s blood relatives calling on her. The only one who tried to visit her was Jayalalithaa’s niece Deepa.

 She is the daughter of CM’s own brother Jayakumar. But she complained that she had not been allowed beyond the hospital gates. She told the media, “My aunt is so dear to me … Want to see my aunt, but can’t go beyond hospital gate.”

Deepa’s complaint assumed significance in the midst of a debate over her successors or family members. Deepa lamented she came to know about Jayalalithaa’s illness through the media. She said she had waited for three days outside the hospital before disclosing her identity. Even after telling the security people there about her relationship, Deepa said, she was denied entry. Nevertheless, somebody had told her that some official would call her but none has contacted Deepa so far.

Media reports suggest that she is the daughter of Jayakumar and Vijaya Lakshmi. Deepa has a brother, Deepak, who has gone to the US with the help of a senior BJP leader and is working there.

Deepa’s parents are said to have stayed with Jayalalithaa at Poes Gardens where Deepa was born. Following differences between Jayalalithaa and Jayakumar, he moved out and settled in T Nagar. It is said when Jayakumar died in 1995, Jayalalithaa had visited her sister-in-law and niece Deepa. But the AIADMK supremo has never gone to that house, even after the death of Deepa’s mother in 2013. Nor did she attend her niece’s  marriage.

It is claimed that the newly-wed couple had gone to Jayalalithaa’s house to seek her blessings. She is said to have gifted the couple a flat. Apparently, their marriage did not last long. A lonely Deepa started making overtures to Jayalalithaa to come closer. An incident has been recalled by observers to point out Deepa’s desperate attempts to reach out to her aunt. She had a ruckus with the security staff at Poes Gardens when she was not allowed in. At that time, she had claimed that the house belonged to her as it was bequeathed by her grandmother Sandhya.

It is suspected that Deepa has come into public to claim that she is the political successor of Jayalaithaa and that is why she is trying her level best to meet the ailing CM in the hospital.

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Setback to AIADMK as court bars local body polls

Ramaswami Sampath

Ramaswami Sampath

The grand plan of the ruling All-India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (AIADMK) to sweep the civic and local-self government elections, taking advantage of the weak position of the opposition parties, received a setback when the Madras High Court annulled the September 26 notification of the State Election Commission (SEC) on October 4. The SEC’s bid to get the court order stayed by appealing to a two-judge division bench drew blank, as the bench did not favour staying the single judge order.

The single judge order was on a petition by the opposition Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam seeking adequate reservation for Scheduled Tribe candidates in the election. Justice N. Kirubakaran, explaining the rationale of his order setting aside the election scheduled to be held in two phases on October 17 and 19, said the SEC notification on September 26 announcing the poll schedule was not in compliance with Rule 24 of the TN Panchayat (Election) Rules of 1995.

The judge had also noted that there was an “unwarranted hurry” in the issue of the election notification, which provided no level-playing field for the opposition parties to fight the elections. The judge did not agree with the SEC contention that since the five-year terms of various civic and panchayat bodies would end by this month-end, there would be a vacuum if the elections were not completed by then, and said that these local self-government bodies could be run by appointing special officers until the election outcome.

The SEC in its appeal before the division bench had contended that once the poll process had been announced, no court could intervene. But judges Huluvadi G. Ramesh and R. Partiban pointed out that the poll process had already been disrupted by the single judge’s order and also by keeping in abeyance of the process by the commission itself. Hence, it directed the SEC to issue a fresh notification and complete the election process by December 31 this year as indicated by the single judge.

The irony is that the setting aside of the election process came close on the heels of the last date for filing of nominations for various wards in rural and urban civic bodies. As on October3, the original date for closing of nominations, nearly three lakh candidates had filed their nominations for 1.31 lakh posts across the State. As scrutiny of the nominations was set for October 4, the single judge order annulled the election process. Consequently, the model code of conduct that came into force with the notification has also been abandoned.

While the AIADMK leadership is crest-fallen over the court intervention, leaders of opposition parties are delighted that they will have some breathing space before the next notification is issued. DMK supremo M. Karunanidhi, said in a statement: “Since the State Election Commission and the State Government announced the dates for election without giving adequate time for the opposition, they (opposition parties) had to select their candidates overnight. Now the court order has given them time for campaign and election work.” The other opposition party leaders also welcomed the court order, stating that justice had at last prevailed

There are 12 municipal corporations, including the Chennai Municipal Corporation, 148 municipalities and 561 town panchayats in Tamil Nadu. The rural local bodies include 12,620 village panchayats, 385 panchayat unions and 32 district panchayats. As many as 1.18 lakh posts in rural local bodies and 12,820 posts in urban local bodies have to be filled by direct elections.

There is 50 per cent reservation for women candidates this time, a step towards empowering the fair sex. For the first time in 44 years, Chennai Corporation will have a woman mayor. The other corporations to have women mayors are Vellore, Salem, Coimbatore, Thanjavur and Dindigul. Tiruchirapalli, Madurai, Tirunelveli, Thoothukudi, Tirupur and Erode are the other corporations under the general category.

The Government recently amended the TN Panchayat and Civic Bodies Act, dispensing with the direct election of mayors and deputy mayors of cities, chairpersons and their deputies of municipalities and chiefs and deputy chiefs of panchyat bodies — a practice that had been in vogue for nearly two decades. The newly elected councilors of corporations, municipalities and panchayat bodies will have to elect these chiefs unanimously or by secret ballot.

      (The writer is a senior journalist and associated with Primepost)

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Panneerselvam or Palani Swamy?

  • Move to select Dy CM in TN

Chennai: Tamil Nadu Cabinet had met on Friday at Apollo hospital where Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa has been undergoing treatment for 15 days. The Cabinet is understood to have discussed the future course of action in the wake of the health bulletin issued by the hospital saying that the CM will have to stay for a prolonged period in view of her precarious condition. The Cabinet reportedly decided that a deputy chief minister has to be anointed to run the administration in the absence of Jayalalithaa.

Though Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Jayalalithaa have been on best of terms, the Union Home Ministry is understood to have advised Governor Chennamaneni Vidya Sagar Rao to anoint a person to take care of the governance in the wake of some ISIS activists being arrested recently. The law and order situation in Tamil Nadu has been delicate. The governor who came here from Mumbai last week has been closely monitoring the situation in the State. There have been rumours about Jayalalithaa’s health which might cause emotional outburst by her fans.

Rajya Sabha MP Subramanian Swamy had set things in motion on Thursday by tweeting that a spell of president’s rule is needed for Tamil Nadu. He alleged that two retired bureaucrats, Sheela Balakrishnan, former Chief Secretary and present advisor to government, and K Ramanujan, retired DGP, have been carrying on the show, but they are not elected by the people. It is as good as the president’s rule without any responsibility on the decision makers, Swamy said. Tamil Nadu Chief Secretary Ramamohana Rao had met Governor Vidya Sagar Rao at Raj Bhavan on Friday.

There are speculations in party circles to the effect that if the governor insists on electing a deputy chief minister, there may not be any unanimous choice. O Panneerselvam, Finance Minister, is one who has some experience in ruling the State. He was stop-gap chief minister on two occasions in 2001 and 2014 when the courts had ruled that his leader, Jayalalithaa, is barred from holding the office. He ruled the State without occupying the chair of the chief minister keeping it vacant for Jayalalithaa. But OPS, as Panneerselvam is called, will have to reckon with Sasikala who is supposed to be the second most powerful person in AIADMK. They have not been on very good terms. Another leader who can be thought of as an interim arrangement is PWD Minister EK Palani Swamy who was elected MLA for four times. Swamy represented Tamil Nadu last week at the meeting held on Cauvery water dispute with Union Water Resources Minister Uma Bharathi and Karnataka Chief Minister Siddharamaiah. Rajya Sabha Member R Vaithilingam and Minister for Power Thangamani also are considered to be in good looks of Jayalalithaa.

However, if we go by the past experience, there may not be any deputy chief minister. In 1984, when MGR was down with kidney problem and neurological issues and stayed at the very same Apollo hospitals for several weeks, no alternative arrangements to run the government were made. Unlike the present AIADMK where Amma is the sole leader and all others are spineless wonders, the AIADMK headed by MGR had at least two leaders who stand tall on their own merit. They were VR Nedunchezhiyan and RM Veerappan. Both of them acted at tandem in governing the State. If the ruling party MLAs are forced to select a deputy chief minister, the tie would be between OPS and Palani Swamy.

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Incredible parallels in the journeys of MGR and Jayalalithaa

Primepost Bureau

The health condition of Tamil Nadu Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa continues to cause anxiety to millions of her followers in her state and outside of it. Even as an activist sought Madras High Court’s intervention to get a true picture, observers of Dravidian politics draw a parallel between Amma and her mentor former Chief Minister MG Ramachandran as far as disclosure of their medical condition and political careers were concerned.

Medical bulletins issued by Apollo Hospital in Chennai where Jayalalithaa is being treated are vague and incredible. During prolonged illness of MGR in 1984, information shared with public was also scarce.

MGR was also admitted to the same Apollo Hospital where his protégé Jayalalithaa is now battling for life. The parallels are stronger than mere calendrical coincidences.

MGR was diabetic and had a kidney failure at the age of 68, about the same age as Jayalalithaa is now. After initial treatment, MGR was taken to Brooklyn Hospital, New York, for treatment. Around the same time after Indira Gandhi’s assassination on October 31, 1984, Rajiv Gandhi announced snap polls a few months ahead of schedule. MGR’s All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (AIADMK) was in alliance with the Congress.

In those pre-satellite channel days, though media had a great prestige, it could easily be regulated by the government. During his treatment days little information about his health condition was revealed publicly. Similar press releases were released periodically without much credible information. MGR’s erstwhile friend turned sworn political enemy M. Karunanidhi called information released as ‘blatant lies of universal proportions’.

Jayalalithaa-MGR

Access to MGR and his wife, Janaki Ramachandran was controlled by his ministers and the Congress was a willing ally. MGR’s nomination papers for the Andipatti constituency were filed from his hospital bed in the US. Indira’s assassination and MGR’s ill-health formed an unbeatable combination and AIADMAK and Congress alliance swept the polls. Miraculously MGR recovered and months later, he was sworn in as Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu.

MGR ruled the state for three years until his death on December 24, 1987. During those days, Jayalalithaa was side-lined and matters reached their nadir when she was pushed from the gun carriage hearse at MGR’s funeral.

After MGR’s death, the Congress desperately tried to shore up its fortunes. In the January 1989 elections, people confirmed Jayalalithaa’s claim to MGR mantle and exposed Congress’s limitations. But, in a bid to emerge as a leader in her own right, she did everything to erase MGR – invoking his name only in crises.

Jayalalithaa managed to widen the AIADMK’s vote bank through populist schemes. Jayalalithaa’s ill health for the past few years have made her recent election campaigns lacklustre and her public appearances are stage- managed to give a modicum of normalcy.

If reliable reports were scarce in 1984, paradoxically, in the face of a phenomenal media glut, information now seems to be in even shorter supply. Apollo’s medical bulletins will not convince anyone, not even a school boy. That even ministers of the central cabinet and the governor of the state have not actually met her only confirms the hold of Jayalalithaa’s friend, Sasikala, and her extended family.

The government remains inactive, and no one can dare even say an acting chief minister should hold the power. At present, the BJP at the centre is as soft as the Congress was during MGR’s times, avoiding from calling the state government to account. People started questioning, if the union government is not failing in its constitutional duties.

In a post-MGR scenario, Congress was hoping to gain a foothold in Tamil Nadu. The BJP is in a similar position now.

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It’s Diwali in advance for Amma’s admirers

  • Jaya, aides granted bail

  • SC puts stringent conditions

  • Cannot delay the process of trial

New Delhi, October 17: Jayalalitha’s admirers, followers and fans are celebrating again and this time it’s for real. Supreme Court on Friday, October 16, granted bail to former Tamil Nadu Chief Minister. She was earlier convicted of possessing assets disproportionate to her known source of income, to the tune of Rs. 66.65 crore, on September 27. Her initial bail appeal was rejected by Karnataka High Court on October 7, after which her lawyers moved the Supreme Court on October 9, seeking bail. She is presently in Bengaluru jail.

aiadmk 1An apex court bench said that Jayalalitha along with her aide Sasikala Natarajan and two others will be released on bail subject to the satisfaction of the condition by the trial court. The four of them have to complete their appeal with all relevant documents before the high court in two months time, after which the Supreme Court will ask the high court to expedite and complete the hearing on the appeal within three months.

Besides her health grounds, Jayalalithaa has invoked section 389 of the Code of Criminal Procedure seeking the suspension of her sentence and grant of bail till the pendency of her appeal against the trial court order. She is expected to be released from jail soon.

aiadmkOn an earlier occasion, a rumour on Amma getting bail (on October 7) led to a wide spread celebration, that turned a damp squib later on knowing that the bail plea, in fact, was not entertained, leaving her followers stricken. Today, it is raining in Chennai. Yet, people are out on streets, celebrating and burning crackers. Corruption charges hardly seem to matter to the merry makers. Chennai is reminiscent of Diwali, that indeed seems to have arrived much early for Amma’s admirers.

However, the real admirers have no reason to celebrate since the apex court had made it very clear that the days of politicians accused of corruption buying time through delaying tactics by seeking a number of adjournment on one plea or other, are almost over. The SC made it clear that Jaya’s lawyers have to appeal in two months time and they would not ask for adjournment. It indicates the attitude of the apex court. Former Bihar Chief Minister Laloo Prasad Yadav, who is on bail, better watch out.

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