Why Sasikala’s Elevation Cannot Be Faulted?
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 Once the support was withdrawn the concerned chief minister had to meekly resign.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.