Okay, so clearly my stinging rebuke from Monday’s post directed at TN Chief Minister Panneerselvam has started a political earthquake in Tamil Nadu 🙂
Jokes apart, I insist there was definitely a role played by social media in what happened. Ever since Panneerselvam’s meek surrender over the weekend became known, there was a flood of jokes, insults and rebuke on Twitter, FB, Whatsapp and everywhere else on social media. Social media may not be everything, but it does provide a decent dipstick indicator of the mood of the masses. Social media in India is coming of age… and it may just have given Panneerselvam the courage to raise the banner of revolt.
This was very good optics right here:
The other day, I expressed my disbelief that Panneerselvam was letting it all go away despite having all the cards in his hand. He was Amma’s handpicked successor, not once but multiple times. He clearly had the backing of Narendra Modi. He had done a decent job in managing the recent hurricane (arguably a better job than the way Amma handled the Chennai floods) and representing Tamil Nadu’s cultural interests during the Jallikattu ban.
And most importantly, he is the sitting Chief Minister …. they say possession is 9/10ths of the law. He has the chair, he just needs the guts to use it.
Never mind his resignation letter tendered to the Governor. The BJP man Vidyasagar Rao is in charge of Raj Bhavan. He’ll take care of it. So that letter is as good as forgotten.
I also mentioned in passing the other day that there are several rumors circulating in Tamil Nadu over Jayalalitha’s death. These rumors do Sasikala no favors. Now, I am personally convinced that these rumors are totally false, but this is politics. Panneerselvam has every right to take advantage of the situation.
In fact, I couldn’t believe that Sasikala would do something as silly as arranging a press conference specifically to deny rumors about Jayalalitha’s death.
This press conference was a monumental blunder on Sasikala’s part. Let’s see: Jayalalitha died two months ago and NOW they arrange a press conference clarifying everything. The only thing this “clarification” achieved was increase the level of suspicion in the minds of the people. People will repeat the old adage: “Never believe a rumor until it is officially denied“.
As I mentioned before, I think the rumor is totally false. But this is politics.
Yes, Sasikala still has the vast majority of MLAs and MPs on her side, but that will likely change. This is why it is important that Panneerselvam is still sitting in the CM chair. He is backed by the Governor in Raj Bhawan and Narendra Modi in Delhi. Holding the power makes all the difference when attracting supporters. The governor will give Panneerselvam all the time he needs to get MLAs on his side. Sasikala understands this equation just as well and how BJP can help OPS. Notice how carefully she plays:
Yeah 🙂 She accuses DMK of supporting Panneerselvam’s revolt. LOL. She knows just as welll it’s not the DMK. It’s the BJP. But she refused to take the BJP on. After all, the BJP holds the Raj Bhavan. She cannot afford to alienate them.
Side question: Someone please enlighten me who gave Sasikala the right to occupy Jayalalitha’s Poes Garden residence. Did Jayalalitha leave it to Sasikala in some will? Have I missed something or did Sasikala move in just because no one had the courage to ask why? I suspect it is the latter.
With Panneerselvam finally raising his head, you can sense the irritation in the Congress camp.
They have been taken by surprise (as has everyone else) by Panneerselvam upsetting the game. Here is Manu Singhvi, hopefully tweeting with his pants on…
You bet, Manu Singhvi… you bet your naked behind that BJP is helping out Panneerselvam. The BJP, on its part, is making no secret either of its support or its delight.
Local BJP leaders did not hold back either. Here is H Raja, National Secretary of the BJP.
And you can see how upset this makes them. Lutyens is NOT happy.
This is the big moment for BJP in Tamil Nadu. Back Panneerselvam to the hilt now and forge a relationship that will benefit for years to come. I think Panneerselvam will win his fight with Sasikala. But he will need BJP support to keep his party in line. However, should things not work out and Sasikala wins the CM post, the BJP now has an authentic and powerful Tamil face to induct in the state. The time starts now for BJP to lay claim to Amma’s legacy.