Chennai: Tamil Nadu politics has always had the raciness of a potboiler movie and in the last three or four days, it has acquired the pace of scenes in director Hari’s movies—where you cannot find out when one scene ends and when another starts. It is all about jump-cuts. It is a tumultuous time for the media and political journalists have responded to the occasion by practically shoving the mike at whoever is turning up at Poes Garden and OPS’ residence.
Anyway, to make sense of all the senselessness, Crank’s News put its crack reporting team on the job and this is what they filed from various political camps.
After the untimely death of Jayalalithaa (it happened very late in the night), her trusted aide VK Sasikala conducted herself with
great dignity, grace and restraint. Neither she nor her gaggle of relatives claimed formal ownership of Fort St George or began occupying the various rooms in it. Knowing the family, this was a big sacrifice from them. Sasikala and her family members also faced a lot of criticism over the secrecy in the hospitalisation and the subsequent death of Amma. They have, however, hit back at these critics by completely ignoring them. Despite this, the senseless critics are still looking forward to some kind of explanation from them.
After 25 odd days of Jaya’s death, Sasikala, who was hitherto just an ordinary member of the party, was unanimously ‘appointed’ the general secretary of the AIADMK. Based on the rewarding experience she had over a month or so of being the general secretary of the party, Sasikala rightly pitched for becoming the chief minister of the state on 5 February.
As a leader, Sasi’s political CV so far is: She has made one speech that experts concur ‘lasted almost 15 minutes’, during which she exhibited the oratorical flair and finesse of an earnest panda. Yesterday, well past midnight, she interacted with the media over the allegations of OPS and rebutted them saying that the whole thing was a DMK conspiracy. To back her claim, she sensationally came up with a stunning evidence: OPS and Stalin once smiled at each other during the last Assembly session. That was clearly game, set and match, Sasi.
As of now, Sasikala has the full backing of most of the AIADMK MLAs, who are literally supported by the various family members of Sasikala equipped with some lethal weapon. Okay, not really but you get the drift.
OPS, as he is generally called, who has been a quiet and unassuming person all along, came up with an unexpected move last night. He turned up at the Jayalalithaa samadhi on Marina. OPS sat still at the memorial and pulled off what no real person had managed in recent times— not check his mobile even once in nearly 40 minutes.
Looking at the visuals of the caretaker chief minister sitting silently, doing nothing, astute political observers in the state, practically everyone, said OPS was doing what he had done all along as the chief minister of Tamil Nadu.
Later after his meditation, OPS levelled many allegations against Sasikala and said she was unhappy with the relief work done by his government after the Vardah cyclone hit Chennai. Indeed, his government came in for a lot of appreciation from the people for the remarkable good work of not putting the AIADMK party stickers in any of the relief materials. OPS, after his revolt, has got the full support of party leaders like Maithreyan and P H Pandian who, it should be said here, enjoy complete backing of almost all their close family members. OPS has also said that he wouldn’t mind joining forces with Deepa, who has the rich political experience of having been the niece of Jayalalithaa.
DMK, BJP, Congress
The open show of defiance in the AIADMK is naturally a big opportunity for the DMK, especially M K Stalin, to get reminded of the defiance from his own estranged brother M K Alagiri. Opposition party DMK has manfully risen to the occasion by issuing inconsequential press releases. Elsewhere, the BJP camp is also agog and it is already working overtime to keep its flock of zero MLAs together in the state. The Congress too has firmed up its response on the matter, but it is just that it has not firmed up its mind on which of its leader will reveal that to the media.
Meanwhile, with the AIADMK MLAs casting their lot with Sasikala, all eyes are on the Governor — who is currently in Mumbai and consulting legal experts as to when to buy a flight ticket for Chennai. He has so far averted the constitutional crisis of Sasikala becoming the Chief Minister by not being in Chennai at all. It is, however, learnt, that he is ‘keeping a close watch on the happenings in Tamil Nadu, most possibly via a Hubble telescope.