Sasikala Natarajan(Chinnamma), the self-proclaimed confidante, friend and even a ‘sister’ to the late Tamil Nadu Chief Minister J.Jayalalitha(Amma to the people of Tamil Nadu), almost immediately after the latter’s funeral set about to usurp the Chief Ministerial chair in Tamil Nadu which was left vacant by the death of the invincible Amma. In order to facilitate smooth transition of power and to protect the AIADMK, of which Amma was General Secretary, from being ‘poached’ by other political parties, as well as to avoid a split, O Paneerselvam(OPS), a democratically elected Member of the Tamil Nadu State Assembly was appointed the caretaker Chief Minister. He set about governing a grieving state at right earnest, shepherding Tamil Nadu through the days of the vitriolic, emotional and violent Jallikettu protests which had threatened the very fabric of the southern state.
Out of the blue, Chinnamma decided it was her turn to make the charge like one of those bulls in the jellikettu arena across the length and breadth of the state, by taking over as General Secretary of the AIADMK(by audacious barging-in tactics as only these power-hungry politicians can indulge in), and thus staking claim for the chief Ministerial chair. She demanded, arm-twisted, and had OPS step down as caretaker Chief minister, which he did as an ‘all-weather party man’ to avoid a split within the AIADMK. Later, he, along with his sympathizer, the school education minister, K.Pandirajan was thrown out as primary member of the party. Thus disrobing OPS of any mandate to be Chief Minister of the state, at least in the near future. These actions of Chinnamma amounted to mocking the vibrant, time-tested and resilient Indian democracy.
Why? because (1) she is not an elected member of the Tamil Nadu Assembly as OPS was, and (2) she was a co-accused In a multi-crore scam along with Amma, the verdict of which was yet to be pronounced by the Indian Supreme Court. Chinnamma’s political ambitions, by no means menial, but blatant and shamelessly overt, had her tuck away almost 100-odd MLAs in a five star resort, -the Golden Bay Resort in Koovathur in Kancheepuram district, (which she claimed were her supporters), who would support her in case her claim to the Chief Ministerial chair required a confidence vote on the floor of the state assembly. These MLAs were being fattened and ‘entertained’ at the exchequers’ expense. The common man on the roads of Tamil Nadu was once more made to look like a donkey (which is no ‘stranger’ to the much heralded Indian democracy, like every other citizen in every other Indian state). To the average Tamilian on the street, the ban on Jellikettu seemed to sully ‘Tamil pride’ much more than Chinnamma’s mechanizations, drunk on lust for power, power and more power, by hook or by crook. Chinnamma’s histrionics and disrobing of democracy within the political arena were tolerated. That, to him did not amount to hurting Tamil pride (surprisingly), as the rest of the nation felt it really did.
Just as Chinnamma’s blatant arm-twisting of democracy and pooh-poohing the executive (with the state governor left absolutely clueless and uncounted in the melee unfolding around him), was reaching a feverish pitch, the temperature pushed up by those 100 odd MLAs being detained and ‘entertained’ at the state’s expense, the Supreme Court pronounced its verdict on the multi-crore scam in which Chinnamma is a co accused, on 14 February 2017. The court found her guilty (along with Amma) of amassing wealth well in excess of her disclosed sources of income. Even this did not stop the unscrupulous Chinnamma from lunging at the tempting Chief Ministerial chair from which she could have misused her power and amassed more wealth, and even diluted the case pending against her. After promptly dismissing OPS as the Chief Minister in her capacity as the General Secretary of the AIADMK, She instated E.K. Palaniswami, one of her favorites in the place of the disgraced OPS. By doing so, she beat to the post, the other power-hungry politicians of yore, who indulged in and clung on to power like leeches through dynasty politics like the members of the Nehru-Gandhi family, Lalloo Prasad Yadav, and elite others. Now, India as a nation demands that this woman, an entirely extra constitutional self-created power center be locked up in some dungeon, with no consideration for a woman being meted out, as she has not, ever since the death of Amma demonstrated an iota of womanhood in her. This power-crazy woman, who is almost out of her mind, drunk on lust for power must be stopped on her tracks right now, before she mocks and makes a mess of democracy in the southern part of India much more than she has already done. The judiciary must chain this political nuisance to one among many pillars of Indian history that Indians would love to forget pronto! Left with no choice but to surrender before law of the land, mercifully resuscitated at the nick of time by the nation’s Supreme Court, she drew arrest and was locked up in a cell, well deservedly in the Parappana Agrahara Central Prison in distant banaguluru, only after she made the following demands: that she be permitted have her food brought from home, being a diabetic patient, to be supplied with mineral water, and warm water to take her bath, all of which the court rightly denied her. Before she left for the prison, she instatated her own handpicked man Friday Palanswami, who was promptly sworn in as Chief Minister of the state, shouldering out OPS. She also readmitted her notorious nephews Dinakaran and Venkatesh, thugs by any standards, as full time members of the AIADMK. They were in fact dismissed from the party by Amma, a corruption stained politician herself, unable to put up with gross misuse of power and ‘goondaism’. Dinakaran was also promptly appointed Deputy General Secretary, a post that was revived, thus sealing OPS’ claim to the Chief Ministerial chair, at least temporarily. In Palaniswamy and Dinakaran , Chinnama has perfect puppets to rule the state by proxy from the prison,. The court has done a huge favor to India and Indian democracy by locking up Chinnamma . But, the possibility of her governing the state by pulling strings through her marionettes Palaniswami and Dinakaran is a real and a dangerous possibility, which too the court must walk that extra mile to prevent at all costs. She can tear asunder a state like a wounded tigress, the occurrence of which the Court must ensure does not materialize. The country, thanks to, chinnamma, has been put through blatant disregard for rule of law, and disrespect for the constitution very much like Indira Gandhi did through her infamous Emergency(1975-1977).
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