O Panneerselvam row: PM Narendra Modi against Sasikala elevation?

By: | Published: February 9, 2017 11:02 AM

The state of Tamil Nadu has been pushed into political uncertainty with the recent crises between OPS and Sasikala.

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As the rift between caretaker Tamil Nadu Chief Minister O Panneerselvam and interim-General Secretary Sasikala Natarajan deepens, the state of Tamil Nadu has been pushed into political uncertainty. The AIADMK MLAs have been made to choose sides, though there is no official role of Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) in the whole scene, but sources in the party said that BJP wants to ensure that AIADMK stays united and O Pannerselvam continues to be the Chief Minister.

BJP General Secretary P Muralidhar Rao in an interview with the Indian Express indicated that the party can not just sit back watch as the events unfold in Tamil Nadu. He said, “When people without any credibility want to become leader, what’s wrong in BJP wanting to be a player in Tamil Nadu? There is political instability (in the state), and it’s natural that the BJP, as a party, wants to play a role.”

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According to sources, BJP initially had no prior agreement of going against new party chief VK Sasikala being the CM of Tamil Nadu but PM Narendra Modi decided against her preferment since she comes with ‘too much baggage’. A senior BJP leader said, “Not that OPS (Panneerselvam) will suit us perfectly (but) in the given scenario, he would be better.” The BJP leader also said that O Pannerselvam was earlier shocked at the developments that had taken in AIADMK on Sunday and was clueless about his future, but Tamil Nadu Governor Vidyasagar Rao’s delay in facililating Sasiakala’s swearing-in gave him timev to think.

When asked about the Governor’s delay in swearing-in, P Muralidhar Rao also said, “As caretaker CM, Panneerselvam was in touch with the Governor. So the Governor might have had some clues about what was happening inside AIADMK. As the constitutional head, he had the opportunity to get all details, (and) he must have been verifying whether the election took place in proper way.”

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As for BJP, a united AIADMK is important because the party has been a frinendly ally in Parliament with 37 MPs in Lok Sabha and 13 in Rajya Sabha, especially in the upper house where the NDA does not enjoy a majority. Sasikala was expected to be sworn in on February 7 but Governor Rao’s meeting with HM Rajnath Singh on Monday evening triggered rumours that the Centre would not like to see Sasikala take oath soon.

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