The high voltage drama surrounding the CM chair of Tamil Nadu facilitates a ready-made script for Kollywood, with O. Panneerselvam (OPS), once considered a mere pawn in the game orchestrated by V.K. Sasikala Natarajan (popularly known as Chinamma), making nail-biting revelations regarding his resignation. His perpetual puppet image, finally stands cracked when he showed interest in holding on to the post of Tamil Nadu CM. He asserts himself as Amma’s (a name given fondly to J. Jayalalithaa) political heir despite pressure from the ministers in his own cabinet urging for Sasikala to take over.
Though many claim that OPS lacks the political acumen to take on his challengers and become a power centre, I think Sasikala is a bad option. Besides, weakening AIADMK, her appointment as CM has invited mass resistance. If the recent turn of events is to go by, Sasikala’s eagerness to rein the state, within just 2 months of Amma’s death establishes her as an opportunist and also strengthens doubts surrounding the death. And with the SC verdict on disproportionate assets case due next week, the mistaken hope that the sitting CM might enjoy greater judicial leniency than the ordinary citizen would, is a fallacy.
Nevertheless, in both the cases, be it opportunism or mistaken hope, her staking a claim to head the government at this point is by all means, ill-advised. Even former Assembly speaker, and AIADMK veteran PH Pandian questions the credibility of Chinnamma by saying, he smells a foul play in Amma’s death and she herself told him that she did not want Sasi to be her successor. By demanding a probe into her conduct, he stands clear off endorsing Chinnamma at the time when majority of AIADMK is backing her.
Since OPS is stranded alone in the ongoing turmoil, it was no surprise, when he was made to lose even the post of Treasurer of the party. Sasikala has left no stone un-turned in showing her strength, party MLAs have hit out at OPS by accusing him to be functioning at the helm of the opposition (DMK). As OPS claims, despite him achieving a lot in the few months of his CM tenure, like bringing in Krishna water from Andhra Pradesh, or controlling the situation on the ground at the time of cyclone Vardah, or handling the Jallikattu unrest; he has constantly been bogged down by his party itself.
All said and done, apparently, if the accusation match gets converted into mudslinging, the common people of TN will not hesitate to topple the AIADMK government in the coming elections. They already feel cheated by the turn of events, and do not want to experience the drama any longer.