In what may be a setback for AIADMK General Secretary VK Sasikala, Governor Ch Vidyasagar Rao has reportedly informed MHA that he has chosen to wait until the Supreme Court pronounces its verdict in the Disproportionate Assets case.
A draft letter by the Governor was first leaked on Telugu channels, and reported by other media, following which the Governor's office has denied that the report has been sent.
Governor Rao has reportedly concluded that Tamil Naduâ€™s present political crisis as a â€śpeculiar situationâ€ť with a â€śunique set of constitutional issues with no precedent.â€ť
TNM has learnt that the Governor has consulted legal luminaries across the nation â€śto get different shades of Legal Opinion.â€ť
As soon as the news broke on channels, not just the MHA and the Governor's office, but the AIADMK too slammed the report calling it "fake". A source in the party (Sasikala camp) said that they believed such a report was given to media to create confusion among their MLAs.
In the note that has been leaked, the Governor interprets Article 164(4) of the Constitution as a clause about removal of person not elected within 6 months rather than one that enables a Minister who has not been elected to the Legislature to continue in office.
Quoting from a Supreme Court judgment, Governor Rao has reportedly said that Article 164(1) should be read along with Article 164(4), and that the 6-month period offered to a minister should not be interpreted as a â€śsource of powerâ€ť or an â€śenabling provisionâ€ť, but in the nature of â€śdisqualificationâ€ť and â€śrestrictionâ€ť of a non-member. The report says that because of the impending judgement in the DA case, â€śEven when there is an iota of doubt about the ability of the person to get elected to Assembly within six months, Article 164(4) as to be interpreted as a restriction and disqualificationâ€ť.
Making mention of the DA case, where Sasikala is Accused Number 2, Governor Ra has reportedly raises doubt over Sasikalaâ€™s qualification to become an MLA.
â€śThis raises a doubt in view of the impending judgement, whether she will be in a position to contest election to get elected as a legislator within six months.â€ť
Governor has in his draft note reportedly said that he is "bound by the Constitution to wait for a few days so that a clear picture emerges enabling him to discharge his duties in accordance with the letter and spirit of the Constitution.â€ť
The Governor also reportedly observes that O Panneerselvam has been asked to continue until alternative arrangements are made, stating â€śthere is no vacuum and hence there is no need for being unduly alarmed.â€ť
He also reportedly makes mention of the AIADMK MLAs who are holed up at Golden Bay Resorts on ECR, stating that he had held a meeting with the Chief Secretary, the DGP, Chennai police commissioner and â€śgave instructions to verify allegations and ensure that the MLAs are at their free will.
The Governor, if one goes by the leaked note, observed that he does not side with any party and is guided only by the Constitution, and hopes that a clearer picture emerges at the earliest.