Mark Twain had expressed: “Loyalty to country ALWAYS. Loyalty to government, when it deserves it.” This is an unfortunate requirement amidst all the chaos teeming in the otherwise organized state of Tamil Nadu. As the political arena has entered into a world of conundrum ever since the much grievous demise of former Chief Minister Jayalalithaa, a picture of clarity is something owed to each Tamil citizen.
To recapitulate the events that followed the passing away of Amma on December 5th, 2016, it all started with O. Paneerselvam taking the ad hoc chair of the Chief Minister only to resign on Feb 16, 2017. This was on account of the united support of a major section of the MLAs in favour of the present interim General Secretary of the All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhgham (AIADMK) , VK Sasikala. Having been expelled from the party along with her clan in December 2011, the expulsion was revoked by Jayalalithaa in 2012 after an apologetic letter from Sasikala’s end. Paving her way through clever politics, Sasikala won herself the top spot way too meticulously much before the Tamil Nadu State Assembly Elections in May, 2016.
In a dramatic press meet that followed, at the Marina Beach, Paneerselvam said that he was forced to tender his resignation when on the other hand, Sasikala had claimed Paneerselvam to be the very first person to have asked her to take charge as the Chief Minister. Following Paneerselvan’s press meet, a few rebels led by the Pandian father-son duo, PH Pandian and Manoj Pandian, tried establishing for once that Sasikala’s election to the chair was but invalid in its very essence as per the party bylaws only to be countered by a number of MLAs decided upon the succession by Sasikala who happened to be a close aide of Former Chief Minister Jayalalithaa. All would have gone exactly as per Sasikala’s plan had she not been convicted of possessing multi crore disproportionate assets, all chief ministerial ambitions for Sasikala thus met a dead end.
The new issue that sprouted is a threat to the party in power that is, AIADMK – a problem which is more of than internal injury, in the form of a tug of war within the group between VS Sasikala backed by the united stand of most MLAs and O. Paneerselvam with the support of a few big names and a sizeable number of MLA’s.
Sasikala who had sacked Paneerselvam from his post as party Treasurer has to contest against his faction of AIADMK (Puratchi Thalaivi Amma) in the election for RK Nagar scheduled in April. The division within the group, creating two factions of the same party – Sasikala’s AIADMK (Amma) led by Dinakaran and Paneerselvam’s AIADMK (Puratchi Thalaivi Amma) has undergone a lot of internal aggression in the form of contesting for the original party name and symbol, at the end of which they settled for the names as mentioned above and a hat and an electric pole for their symbols respectively.
The fate of AIADMK depends majorly on the outcome of this election as a win of Sasikala would shunt AIADMK into an extremely precarious and unsteady position where the uprising of a handful of MLAs will lead to an ineluctable collapse of the government which is why even the government at the centre considers Paneerselvam, the wiser and cleaner option of the two. Though both warring factions are confident of reviving Amma’s lost legacy by claiming the RK Nagar constituency, it is only a matter of time that the candidate with clearer vision gets the legacy handed over.