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Last Updated Wednesday December 13 2017 01:04 PM IST

Mobocracy tramples upon electorate in TN's temple of democracy

Prem Udayabhanu
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Mobocracy tramples electorate in TN's temple of democracy

First things first: No one knows what exactly happened in Tamil Nadu assembly, where the trust vote of Edappadi Palaniswami took place in front of vacant opposition benches.

All we know was that the media was gagged, there was pandemonium and opposition was evicted. And that the speaker's chair was occupied by two opposition legislators.

Read: Tamil Nadu CM Palaniswami wins trust vote

There have been selective leaked videos which point toward two DMK MLAs sitting on the speaker's chair and the speaker himself being heckled.

Indeed a shame, but Tamil Nadu had been witnessing many shameful acts that don't anyway suit the decorum of the temple of democracy recently.

MLAs being herded like cattle to a resort where goons dictated terms, legislators fleeing from there to switch camps and thugs forming a protective ring outside the camp where MLAs were 'detained' by the Sasikala camp. That is utmost shameful.

We also saw a legislature party leader being elected by MLAs closeted in such a resort as the police force in the state looked elsewhere.

And we saw the governor swearing in the leader of the largest political formation as CM where MLAs were herded again, only to be herded back again to their safe haven.

Read: Shameful days for democracy, say Tamil actors

These wanton acts actually are more of an affront to the voters than to the political spectrum.

The people of Tamil Nadu had been actually held hostage by the brute force of a faction of the ruling party controlled by a coterie run by jailed AIADMK supremo Sasikala.

In other words, the machinations of a coterie prevailed over the will of the people as custodians of democracy and its various pillars failed to act.

There can be no two arguments about a total shutdown of governance in Tamil Nadu ever since late Jayalalithaa was hospitalized.

And mystery shrouded the corridors of power ever since that and even after her demise.

A democracy cannot function shrouded by mystery. Only a mobocracy can.

Palaniswami may have won the confidence vote in a House of sham after unruly opposition legislators, who also enacted their share of drama to grab eyeballs, were forcefully evicted. That in itself is the biggest sham that has been enacted in front of a hapless electorate.

But Tamil Nadu's unruly days are far from over, if the events that unfurled in the state recently are any indication.

And the present dispensation has no moral authority to govern despite the fact that a majority of legislators have backed it in a controversial vote in shady circumstances.

The hapless TN voter can only await the next political sham to unfurl.

(Views expressed are personal)

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