Providing the already divided Tamil Nadu with another twist in the tale, Chief Minister O Panneerselvam yesterday said that he was forced to resign from his post so that Sasikala could take over. Panneerselvam spoke to the media after his surprise visit to pay his respects to Jayalalithaa said that Amma wanted him to become the Chief Minister. He further said that he had performed his duty and carried forward the path shown by Amma. Speaking of the current scenario when he was forced to resign, he said that when Jayalalithaa was in the hospital, she had asked him to become the Chief Minister, even when he did not want to. He asked as to why he was being insulted by the same people who had made him the CM. And while this seems like one good season of Game of Thrones, albeit in a democracy, one is still unsure about what the future holds for the state of Tamil Nadu and its people.
Here are the answers to a few questions that are being raised in the wake of the situation:
1) What’s next for Panneerselvam?
It must be remembered that the Governor has already accepted his resignation. However, considering the unusual situation and the political circumstances surrounding the state, if OPS can prove that he had been coerced into filing that resignation letter, the Governor might entertain it if the former still enjoys a majority in the state assembly.
2) How many MLAs does O Pannerselvam need to gain a majority stake in the parliament and practically come back to power?
117 MLAs, to be precise. The Tamil Nadu Assembly has 233 members after Jayalalithaa’s death.
3) Is there a chance of the President’s rule being imposed by the governor?
In the current situation, Panneerselvam’s government remains functional despite the governor’s acceptance of his resignation. The governor had asked him to keep his seat till all the arrangements for a new CM were made. However, if the governor feels that there was a breakdown in the constitutional machinery and the party was split and no entity was getting a clear majority, the President’s rule could be imposed.
4) What’s next for Sasikala?
The Governor could swear her in considering she is the leader of the AIADMK party legislature. However, the current situation might force the Governor to seek the party that proves a majority in the house. She could expel O Panneerselvam from the party itself but the fact remains that he is in fact, the functioning CM of the state till another leader was sworn in, which remains in the hands of the governor.
5) What are the options for DMK?
Stalin could sit back and maybe wait for a President’s rule to be imposed, which would be mean another election in 6 months. He could take advantage of the divided AIADMK. On the other hand, he could join hands with one of the factions, most probably with OPS but then if the support would continue till the next elections, 4 years away is a matter of speculation.