The political stalemate in Tamil Nadu should be resolved
A quick verdict, either way from the Madras high court court, will hopefully help in resolving the administrative paralysis affecting the state.Updated: Jun 18, 2018 08:04 IST
The split verdict delivered by the two-member Madras High Court bench on the Speaker’s decision to disqualify 18 rebel AIADMK MLAs has given a fresh lease of life for the Edappadi K Palaniswami (EPS) government. It is not just the EPS government which will breathe easier but even the Modi government, which has the tacit support of 37 AIADMK members in the Lok Sabha and more important, the support of 12 of its party members in Rajya Sabha, where the BJP and its allies continues to be in a minority.
It has taken the Madras High Court nine months to deliver this split verdict which will now be referred to a third judge. Without going into the merits of the Speaker’s decision which is now the court’s remit, everyone should hope for a speedy resolution. If the judges had collectively taken a decision either way, the EPS government would have certainly been impacted.
If the court had unanimously upheld Speaker P Dhanpal’s decision to disqualify the 18 MLAs, then the AIADMK would have had to face by-elections in these constituencies. This would have been a huge challenge for a party, which doesn’t have a reliable vote catcher now, after the demise of its leader J Jayalalithaa. In the only by-election after Jaya’s death, the government lost the seat which was hers. If the judges had struck down the Speaker’s orders, the rebel MLAs would have triumphantly marched into the assembly and if they joined hands with the 98-member DMK-lead opposition, they could have brought down the government. Either way, only a split verdict could have sustained the status quo, as it has done now.
The internecine warfare in the AIADMK has meant that the party is split three ways. EPS and his deputy O Paneerselvaam (OPS), who merged their factions, are the biggest bloc right now as they holds the reins of power. TTV Dhinakaran, the nephew of Jayalalithaa’s former aide Sashikala who won her R K Nagar seat and to whom those 18 disqualified MLAs have pledged fealty, has floated the Amma Makkal Munnetra Kazhagam. His uncle V K Dhivakaran, who is Sashikala’s brother, has launched his own outfit called the Anna Dravidar Kazhagam. All this has meant huge uncertainty which has opened up the political space. This is why Kamal Haassan has floated his own party Makkal Needhi Maiam and Rajinikanth is all set to announce his.
A quick verdict - either way from the court - will hopefully help in resolving the administrative paralysis affecting the state and bring clarity to the muddied political situation.