Cen­tre In Strate­gic Po­si­tion to Pull Strings in AIADMK Fight

The Economic Times - - Pure Politics -

New Delhi: Amid the flux in AIADMK, in­flu­en­tial lead­ers in the rul­ingNDAan­doppo­si­tionCon­gressDMK camp in Delhi feel that the rul­ing­party­attheCen­treis­strate­gi­cally placed to pull po­lit­i­cal strings in Tamil Nadu to en­sure an AIADMK regime that would be friendly to the Cen­tre in ad­di­tion to pro­vid­ing cru­cial sup­port to it in the Ra­jya Sabha and dur­ing the Pres­i­den­tial elec­tion.

Ac­cord­ing to gov­ern­ment in­sid­ers, gov­er­nor Vidyasagar Rao, whose ab­sence from Chen­nai has prompted crit­i­cism from the Op­po­si­tion, is ex­pected to “start the process of con­sul­ta­tions” with var­i­ous stake­hold­ers. How­ever it is un­likely that he would rush to take a fi­nal call be­fore Supre­meCourt­givesitsver­dictinthe cor­rup­tion case in­volv­ing Sasikala.

The BJP and its gov­ern­ment have no par­tic­u­lar pref­er­ence on who should head the TN re gime, Sasikala, Pan­neer­sel­van or a dark horse. For them it’s more a case of what Deng Xiaop­ing said, in a dif­fer­ent con­text: “It doesn’t mat­ter whether the cat is black or white as long as it catches mice.”

The over­whelm­ing sup­port of leg­is­la­tors that Sasikala re­tained a day af­ter Pan­neer­sel­vam’s re­volt in­di­cated di­min­ish­ing chances for a split in AIADMK. As per the con­sti­tu­tional norms, a party which en­joys ma­jor­ity in the as­sem­bly can elect any­one to head the gov­ern­ment. How­ever, the BJP gov­ern­ment wants to avoid a scene where Sasikala takes oath as CM only to be con­victed by the court within days. A TN gov­er­nor had to be re­called af­ter swe a r i n g in Jay­alalithaa in a sim­i­lar in­stances and the Cen­tre would like to wait for the ver­dict even as the Sasikala camp pushes for her early takeover.

Play­ers in Delhi are also mind­ful of the­p­o­lit­i­cal­fall­outinAIADMKinthe event of an ad­verse ver­dict in the case. With se­nior party leader PH Pan­dian and Pan­neer­sel­vam posi-


tion­ing against Sasikala, an ad­verse ver­dict­may­seeanew­player­fromher camp — like Lok Sabha deputy Speaker Tham­bidu­rai — tak­ing over the reins. The Delhi play­ers would also watch if the Pan­dian-OPS camp with the sup­port of Jay­alalithaa’s niece is able to win over ma­jor­ity MLAs.

The Congress, on its part, ac­cused the gov­er­nor of play­ing by BJP’s script. AICC Gen­eral Sec­re­tary Digvi­jaya Singh ac­cused the gov­er­nor of play­ing pol­i­tics on BJP’s di­rec­tions in­stead of ful­fill­ing his con­sti­tu­tional obli­ga­tions. How­ever, the Congress, along with ally DMK that has 90 MLAs, recog­nises the lim­ited ma­noeu­ver­ing space the Op­po­si­tion has. A siz­able chunk of AIADMK MLAs should break off to side with DMK-Congress camp to make it pos­si­ble to form an al­ter­nate gov­ern­ment. Also, given Tamil Nadu’s un­pre­dictable po­lit­i­cal tra­di­tion, it is dif­fi­cult­to­even­haz­ardaguess­whether the DMK will fight against the Cen­tre or will seek pa­tron­age from Delhi in the un­likely event of be­ing in a po­si­tion to mop up the num­bers.

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