Chennai: Edappadi Palanisamy’s sudden rise and his taking oath as the chief minister of state must be a dream of sorts for the man who was once a farmer and loyalist of jayalalithaa and Sasikala. It also proves beyond doubt that the stranglehold of Sasikala on the ruling party in the state is complete and beyond doubt.
In the last two week-long drama that started following Sasikala becoming the AIADMK legislature party chief, almost all the MLAs of the party remained firmly with her, never wavering despite many efforts to scare them. It was thought that within a day or two, they will switch side in their dozens and Panneerselvam will have the majority of MLAs.
Now it has transpired that the former chief minister –a puppet of the Amma – couldn’t muster the support of more than eight MLAs despite trying to intimidate them using all the possible tools.
Edappadi K. Palaniswami, in the meantime has taken the oath as the chief minister of the state, along with almost all the members of the cabinet in Jayalalithaa government, except two. The chief minister the newly installed chief minister heads a 31-Member Cabinet. Except O. Panneerselvam and Ma Foi K. Pandiarajan, Mr. Palaniswami has retained the outgoing Council of Ministers. K.A. Sengottaiyan is the only new inductee. Mr. Palaniswami is given 15 days to prove his majority.
To be true, it was a rather very fast paced development, given how things crawled in Chennai, over the last two weeks. The Governor’s invitation came “in acceptance” of the letter submitted by Palaniswami on February 14. After his oath-taking ceremony, Palaniswami expressed confidence about proving majority in the floor of the House. He heads to the Secretariat after paying floral tributes at the Jayalalithaa memorial.
Meanwhile there are reports of stone pelting outside the house of Panneerselvam, who is now former chief minister without –red-beacon light. One of Panneerselvam supporters said, “Within one hour of Palaniswami’s taking over, an AIADMK cadre has been attacked. They have attacked their own partyman. How will they maintain law and order? We have started a peaceful protest…This is not against (the MLAs)… It is against the family that is controlling you…If you continue to attack us, we know how to retort. You should stop…You can take it either as a request, friendly request or a warning…Please carry on with your work. Our fight (Dharma Yudham) is against Sasikala, Dinakaran and Diwakaran. Please don’t indulge in such unnecessary incidents.”