Governor Should Not Influence CM Choice
The governor of Tamil Nadu should not play a role in determining the next chief minister of Tamil Nadu. That is the job of the legislators. Members of Tamil Nadu’s legislative assembly are right now herded into a resort, where newly anointed general secretary of the ruling AIADMK, VK Sasikala, keeps a watchful eye over them. Yet, some MLAs and ministers have managed to escape her vigil and sneak out, reportedly to assess the public mood after O Panneerselvam, the only person to whom Jayalalithaa, AIADMK’s erstwhile supreme leader, had delegated political power, had staked claim to the chief minister’s post. MLAs being corralled to insulate them from external temptation is an odious sight.The one and only way for the governor to not implicate himself in the selection of the next chief minister is for him to convene the assembly and ask it to elect a leader. Whoever commands a majority will emerge the leader from that exercise. If the governor invites Sasikala to become chief minister and prove her majority on the floor of the House, that would give her an undeserved advantage. So would Panneerselvam get an undeserved advantage if the governor were to invite him to prove his majority. There is no reason for the governor to first show his preference and make that gubernatorial preference a factor in the choice of the chief minister. It is not fair to the aspirants and brings in considerations not envisaged in the Constitution to the choice of the chief minister.
Tamil Nadu’s political drama derives from the absence of inner party democracy in India’s political culture and specifically within the AIADMK. The governor’s role should not be to add to democracy deficit but to make amends, to whatever extent possible. Is that too much to ask of governor Ch Vidyasagar Rao?