Game over for OPS? E Palanisamy to form government in Tamil Nadu: Will this be the end of personality-based politics?

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Updated: February 17, 2017 11:02:07 AM

According to the latest TV reports, Tamil Nadu Governor has invited Eddapadi Palanisami to form the government and his swearing-in is likely to take place this evening at 4.30 pm.

Eddapadi Palanisami (left); O Panneerselvam Eddapadi Palanisami (left); O Panneerselvam

According to the latest TV reports, Tamil Nadu Governor has invited Eddapadi Palanisami to form the government and his swearing-in is likely to take place this evening at 4.30 pm. TV reports also say that Palanisami has been given 15 days to prove majority. Meanwhile, the OPS camp has been reportedly in a huddle since morning and are probably figuring out a strategy and a plan of action – they may be too late to come up with any surprises. In terms of numbers, Palanisami seems to be a clear winner.

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Unlike Sasikala against whom several controversies have been raised time and again, no one has anything to say against E Palanisamy. He has proven beyond doubt that he always stood with Jayalalithaa and had enjoyed her trust. That he chose to stand by Sasikala has not turned the public mood against him nor raised any doubts about his loyalty to the party and to the memory of Jayalalithaa.

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Known to be a staunch Jayalalithaa loyalist who had risen from the humblest ranks in the AIADMK party and has now reached the position that he occupies today, there is very little reason for anyone to have a problem with EPS taking charge as Chief Minister. The people of Salem, the place of his birth, can rejoice that one of their own is going to occupy the highest seat of power – a seat that has seen the reign of iconic personalities like MGR, Karunanidhi and Jayalalithaa.

It is said that even while MGR was alive, Palanisami floated the idea of another political party which showcased Jayalalithaa as the supremo – such was the extent of his unflinching loyalty to Tamil Nadu’s beloved Amma. He has risen across the party and held important positions when Jayalalithaa was the Chief Minister.

This development probably hits OPS more than anyone else. But there are two options for the OPS camp to consider right now –

One – The OPS-led camp can extend an olive branch to Eddapadi Palanisami and work out a formula to work together. On a realistic note, a peaceful negotiation with the Sasikala camp looks unlikely as Sasikala is in jail and the bitterness between the two camps has escalated to a point of no-return.

WATCH VIDEO |

Second – Another option is to find a way to break the ice with the party, address the AIADMK MLAs and party workers directly, make a dramatic turnaround and apology to win them over by stating that O Panneerselvam had an objection to Sasikala taking charge but harbour no hard feelings against any other person chosen by her. This too may backfire given the hostility between the two camps right now.

Third – Reach out to MK Stalin – which, if done, would prove Sasikala’s allegations about the existence of a secret political tie-up between the OPS camp and DMK. Such a move will instantly make OPS look like a traitor before the masses.

When you examine all three options, you get the feeling, it is game over for OPS and unlike what everyone expected when Sasikala went to jail, it is the beginning of a new game for her.

WATCH VIDEO | Sasikala Convicted By SC In Disproportionate Assets Case

In the tussle between Sasikala and O Panneerselvam, Palanisami chose to stand with the former. Result? He will swear in as Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu at 4.30 PM today and has been reportedly given 15 days to prove his majority.

In this game of numbers, Palanisami is set to begin his reign on the Tamil throne, making everyone ask another inevitable question – ‘Will this be the end of personality-based politics in Tamil Nadu?’

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