Tamil Nadu political crisis: Edappadi Palaniswamy sworn-in as chief minister; top 5 options left for O Panneerselvam

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Updated: February 16, 2017 5:12:54 PM

Jailed AIADMK General Secretary Sasikala loyalist Edappadi Palaniswamy has taken oath as the new Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu after she ensured party MLAs provided him support to form the new government - this faction is claiming the support of 123-124 MLAs.

Tamil Nadu political crisis: Jailed AIADMK General Secretary Sasikala loyalist Edappadi Palaniswamy has taken oath as the new Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu after she ensured party MLAs provided him support to form the new government - this faction is claiming the support of 123-124 MLAs. (ANI)Tamil Nadu political crisis: Jailed AIADMK General Secretary Sasikala loyalist Edappadi Palaniswamy has taken oath as the new Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu after she ensured party MLAs provided him support to form the new government – this faction is claiming the support of 123-124 MLAs. (ANI)

Tamil Nadu political crisis: Jailed AIADMK General Secretary Sasikala loyalist Edappadi Palaniswamy has taken oath as the new Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu after she ensured party MLAs provided him support to form the new government – this faction is claiming the support of 123-124 MLAs. Governor C Vydyasagar Rao has been provided a list of MLAs and after verifying the same, he asked Palaniswamy to form the government within 15 days, while swearing-in of the CM happened today. While she herself is in Bengaluru jail after the Supreme Court sentenced her to a 4-year jail term, Sasikala has ensured a sort of a victory for herself by getting her proxy elevated to the top spot in Tamil Nadu government. At the Raj Bhawan, there was great jubilation among the AIADMK MLAs as Palaniswamy took the oath and they were seen congratulating each other with gusto.

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With dark horse Palaniswamy emerging triumphant, what the displaced former CM O Panneerselvam is left with are very few, if any, options. Here they are:

1. Look to patch-up with Palaniswamy. Will Sasikala allow that? Even in jail, Sasikala is expected to call the shots in AIADMK.

2. Ambush the new CM during the show of strength in the Assembly by weaning away a number of MLAs supporting Palaniswamy. If he successfully gets even 7-9 MLAs to shift allegiance to him, the new government is likely to fall.

3. Keep following up on his effort to remove Sasikala as the AIADMK General Secretary. If successful, he would be in an ideal position to snatch the party away from her as well as her proxy Panaliswamy.

4. He could look to snatch the chief ministership away by aligning with the DMK and hope everything falls in his favour and he gets anointed as CM. There is great danger in the move as this will be seen as a betrayal of Jayalithaa herself, since it would lead to the fall of the AIADMK government and is likely to be a desperate gambit to snatch power from the jaws of permanent defeat. Even if he gets full support from Jayalalithaa niece Deepa in this effort and he props her up as the heir of Jaya’s legacy, the move will be full uncertainty and could signal the death of both their political careers.

5. Look to support Palaniswamy and help him emerge as a separate power-centre within the AIDMK who is not controlled by Sasikala.

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