The AIADMK supremo had no qualms taking credit for the promulgation of the ordinance.

Will the jallikattu violence fiasco pave way for Sasikala to claim TN CMs job
news Politics Tuesday, January 24, 2017 - 08:46

As the dust settles at the Marina beach following a day of arson, stone pelting and violence, political circles in Tamil Nadu are abuzz once again. Whispers of AIADMK General Secretary VK Sasikala taking up the reins were echoing across social media platforms, even as Chief Minister O Panneerselvam was tabling the jallikattu bill at the state Assembly.

While many blamed Panneerselvam for the standoff between the police and the protesters that culminated in violence, those like BJP leader Subramanian Swamy suggested that OPS is unable to live-up to the rigours of office and must make way for Sasikala, albeit with riders.

And while the rumours of “Chinnamma” taking over as CM have been floating around for several weeks now, the statement issued by Sasikala on Saturday clearly bared the differences in the AIADMK. 

The AIADMK supremo had no qualms taking credit for the promulgation of the ordinance, stating that she made the AIADMK-led government “fight for this cause.”

With the ordinance now successfully replaced by the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (Tamil Nadu Amendment) Act, 2017, could the next logical step be the elevation of VK Sasikala?

“There is a possibility that Panneerselvam can hand in his resignation for the fiasco that has taken place. But there is no acceptance for Sasikala to become Chief Minister. Among the crowds at Marina beach, they were making fun of OPS and Sasikala to the same degree or perhaps worse,” observes RK Radhakrishnan, Associate Editor of Frontline.  Warning that the move could backfire on the AIADMK if it chooses to replace OPS, he notes, “They can’t think that this is only against one politician or political party. This is a failure of the Tamil Nadu polity.”

After all, even if Sasikala assumes the Chief Minister’s chair, she will have no choice but to contest elections within six months. And with the mood of the public against the Tamil Nadu political class, it’s a risk that the AIADMK may not want to take just yet.  

Speaking to TNM, a senior leader in the AIADMK dismissed speculation of Sasikala being elevated to the CM’s post, asking, “Why suddenly now? Especially when the assembly is in session.” The first Tamil Nadu assembly session following former CM Jayalalithaa’s death is expected to last until February 1.  

Meanwhile the DMK appears to be in no mood to ask for OPS’s resignation despite condemning the state government and the police for the crackdown on protesters. “We will never ask for Article 356 of the Constitution to be invoked,” said A Saravanan, DMK Spokesperson. He also said there was no reason for the DMK to take a stand on the rumours of Sasikala’s elevation, stating, “It is their internal issue. But if those in the AIADMK are questioning the Chief Minister then Panneerselvam should take a floor test to prove his majority.”  

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