Tamil Nadu has been on one frenzied run for some time now. On one hand, it seems the political circuit is working overtime to keep the country 'entertained.' A week or so ago, it was an assembly of thousands to seek legislative mandate to be chased by bulls, and, if possible, get killed in the mad trample. This time around, it is a woman's relentless push seeking a mandate to rule the state, which loves being chased by bulls.
On Monday, it seemed V.K. Sasikala would be sworn in as the chief minister of Tamil Nadu after the state chief minister and vanishing man of TN politics, O. Panneerselvam, stepped down to pave way for 'Chinnamma.' But, swashbuckling climaxes are not new to TN politics. Governor in charge C. Vidyasagar Rao suddenly sought legal advice and later postponed the swearing-in ceremony, thereby putting a spoke in Chinnamma's wheel of fortune.
Uncertainty hangs over Sasikala's anointment as CM
The going is unlikely to be easy for Sasikala. With at least 40 AIADMK MLAs sitting on the fence to switch over to the DMK or move out, Sasikala is faced with multiple hurdles. She will have to consolidate her flimsy base in the party and burnish her image among the rank and file. That would be a hard task as the common man perceives Chinnamma as a pale shadow of the charismatic and suave Jaya.
Also, Jayalalithaa's niece Deepa Jayakumar has stated that she will launch a party on her aunt's birthday. The AIADMK leadership was divided on handling Deepa. A section of the leadership wanted her in the party fold but Sasikala perceived her as a threat to her supremacy. However, it would be a larger threat if Deepa, who has a striking resemblance to Jayalalithaa, seeks mandate on a non-AIADMK ticket.
This apart, Deepa may also stake claim to the properties of her aunt as she is the 'actual legal heir.' Legal experts point out that Sasikala and her family's claims to the Poes Garden residence and other assets of Jayalalithaa will not stand legal scrutiny.
Dissent was unheard of in the Jaya-led AIADMK with the party supremo changing ministers and officials at will. Chinnamma can hardly accomplish such tasks with Jaya's audacity.
Political observers and veteran journalists say the division of spoils is the only 'crucial' issue in the allocation of portfolios in the party and government. Now, the governor is expected to fly in soon and all eyes are on him.
Meanwhile, in many parts of Tamil Nadu, in spite of the uncertainty, bull owners are getting the coats of their bulls shined and hoofs shod for the next season. The bulls, docile animals, are hysterically prompted into frenzy by the organizers so that it chases you down.
It is time for some bull-taming in politics too. For, if the profligate political bull is allowed to rage on and rip apart democratic principles, the electorate should put an end to its frenzied run.
(The views expressed are personal)