Tamil Nadu: VK Sasikala clan isolated, but Edappadi K Palaniswami-O Panneerselvam need to prove their tenacity

The mood in the official faction of the AIADMK, particularly in the erstwhile faction led by Deputy Chief Minister O Panneerselvam, is euphoric after the general council of the party removed Sasikala.

Published: 13th September 2017 03:13 AM  |   Last Updated: 13th September 2017 10:04 AM   |  A+A-

(From left) Deputy Chief Minister O Panneerselvam and CM Edappadi K Palaniswami at the general council meeting of AIADMK in Chennai on Monday. (Express Photo| D Sampathkumar)

By Express News Service

CHENNAI: The mood in the official faction of the AIADMK, particularly in the erstwhile faction led by Deputy Chief Minister O Panneerselvam, is euphoric after the general council of the party passed a resolution to deprive interim general secretary V K Sasikala of her position and nullifying the appointment of T T V Dhinakaran as deputy general secretary, but political observers feel it could trigger a backlash within the organisation.

They see chances of a revolt within the legislature party. “About 90 per cent of MLAs were handpicked by none other than Sasikala. So, many of them may naturally have allegiance to her. The decision to completely isolate her from the party will trigger backlash among the MLAs,” felt political observer R Mani.

He added, “It is a million dollar question as to how many legislators will support the EPS-OPS faction as they decided to take Sasikala head on.” Dhinakaran had been saying that he had ‘sleeper cells’ in the official faction and they might switch sides whenever the situation warranted.The problems would intensify day after day as the MLAs’ expectations have to be fulfilled. “How long can that be done?” wondered Mani.

Going by the history of AIADMK, which evolved into a strong political outfit in Tamil Nadu over the years only by the sheer personality and charisma of its founder M G Ramachandran and his successor J Jayalalithaa, the future of the party looks bleak without a charismatic leader who can garner votes in elections.

“AIADMK has been a leader-dependent party. Now, the capacity of the current crop of leaders to garner votes is low,” says Venkatesh Athreya, political and economic commentator.The tenacity of the EPS-OPS combine is also doubtful with the chances of disgruntled elements rearing their heads in both factions.

Mani noted, “It is nothing but a temporary truce between EPS and OPS. I do not think it will  last long.”
The future of Dhinakaran also does not look bright as a bad impression of the family has registered in the minds of grassroots level party cadre and the general public, said another observer who has been closely monitoring the post-Jayalalithaa developments in AIADMK.

He is of the view that the party would fall like nine pins once it loses power. “Only the State power is binding them together. Once they lose it, the brittle party will skittle.”
An ex-MLA belonging to AIADMK has already switched to DMK two days ago and many are waiting to step into Anna Arivalayam as soon as the crisis in the party reaches boiling point, he pointed out.
However, Venkatesh Athreya felt it was a little early to predict the fall.
“The division and the reunion is orchestrated by ruling BJP at the Centre. We have to wait and watch before coming to a conclusion on the fate of AIADMK and the government.”

No resolution on burning issues

In the past, the general council meeting of AIADMK, which is convened once a year, and the executive committee meeting held once is six months, used to have at least 5-10 resolutions on major issues before the State faced and demands from the Centre. Some of them had even condemned the Central government on key issues. But  Tuesday’s general council meeting did not have even one resolution about the major issues staring Tamil Nadu in the face, including NEET and reduction in GST on many items as demanded by small traders and others.

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