With the 7th October deadline for announcing the Chief Ministerial candidate of AIADMK breathing down the two warring factions’ neck, AIADMK Coordinator and Deputy Chief Minister O.Panneerselvam appears to have prepared himself for a showdown with center. Armed with the support of Sasikala group and relying on the support from his Mukkulathor community, he is gearing up for Dharmayudham 2.0.
But this time around his Dhamayudham 2.0 will not work, simply because Edappadi Palanisamy is not in a mood to budge. With the cards stacked in his favour, he is ready for a fight to finish.
But one cannot and should not underestimate O.Panneerselvam because he has pulled off a spectacle before and will go to any extent to protect his interests. His moves are being curiously watched by political analysts and New Delhi is closely monitoring the developments.
Right when this controversy started, OPS was very confident of muddying the waters and have a good catch. But things took an unexpected turn. OPS who considers himself as a key pawn in the Game of Thrones in ADMK was under the impression that Delhi will be on his beck and call. He fell for the false confidence given by his half-baked wards that everything is well in Delhi and the BJP will throw their entire weight behind OPS and family. But, it was very far from truth. OPS’s stocks were already down in Delhi and the BJP leadership saw him as a spent force.
OPS lost the plot when agreed to play a second fiddle to EPS in Tamil Nadu Government. Despite being the Chief of the AIADMK, he failed to assert himself and was seen as someone who is helpless. He was never able to install himself as a firm leader or contender for CM’s post. Following the merger of the factions, he was very particular and careful ensuring plum and lucrative portfolio for himself, but ditched everyone who followed him during Dharma Yudham 1.0. He lost his loyalists, his supporters and people who truly loved him. He is alone and he has been cornered from all sides.
BJP which was decided the fate of AIADMK carefully analyzed his behaviour for the past two and a half years. They found him unfit to lead even a faction. So all the doors knocked by OPS were shut on his face. His efforts to establish contacts through Mylapore Broker S.Gurumurthy with Delhi also proved futile. Gurumurthy was under the impression that OPS not only spoilt his image, but also pulled down the stocks of S Gurumurthy in Delhi.
His suggestions to prop up Jayalalitha’s niece J.Dheepa as opposed to Sasikala clan proved to be a damp squib. His promise to Delhi that he will ensure Rajini enters politics and throws his support for BJP never happened. All that projected by Mylapore broker Gurumurthy turned into a fiasco.
Though Gurumurthy flaunts that it was he who asked OPS to go for Dharma Yudham is also not received by Delhi pleasantly, as it spoilt Amit Shah’s plan. As noted earlier, Delhi has in unambiguous terms set a deadline for OPS. On 7th October plead or perish. These are the only two options before OPS.
But, OPS is not a man to be defeated that easily. Sensing that his army is depleting, OPS has established contacts through all his relatives to back him together as Mukkulathor community. This is apart from indicating to the community that he has the backing of ‘Rajamatha’.
Yesterday, he had a lengthy discussion with Shozhavanthan MLA K.Manickam and asked him to throw the community’s full weight behind him. But Manickam is skeptical as he does not want to board an already sinking ship.
Most of the ADMK cadres and leaders are very very skeptical about bringing in the Sasikala family. They had been at the receiving end of this family for decades. Periodically, one from the clan will assume significance inside the party and will eventually become a power center. Invariably all the ADMK cadres will be forced to pay obeisance to the family and any refusal would be met with serious repercussions. This is what is haunting the ADMK cadres and leaders, ahead of VK Sasikala’s return. They are scared that the family’s clout over the party will again bring back the dark ages. During the past four years, they have assumed a new freedom and most of them have become small emperors and have built their own kingdom. They are not willing to bargain this new found power and money that keeps flowing like water.
This is the chip on which CM Edappadi Palanisamy has bet heavily on. Further OPS almost has no say in his political decisions. It is Ravindranath and Jayapradheep his elder and younger sons who call the shots in the party. The stature of OPS is nothing more than a retired government servant, inside the family.
Today, OPS’s elder scion OP. Ravindranath, acted in an autocratic manner when he summoned the District Collector, SP and all other senior officers for a meeting. The District Collector, as the District Magistrate, is a Nodal Officer with reference to imlementation of central government schemes. He is answerable only to the Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha as the case may be. However, General Tyre, as he is termed in Social Media, OP Ravindranath, chose to flaunt his non-existent power. But, the bluff was called.
Senior officials who came to know about the develoments, issued firm instructions that none of the officers should meet OP Ravindranath as it would set a bad precedent. They also visualised the future trouble likely to be created by DMK MPs who are waiting for an opportunity to seize.
In all likelihood OPS is likely to surrender before 7th of October. Whether an angel of luck will resurrect OPS or will he create trouble or face consequences like VK Sasikala, remains to be seen.
A seasoned politician like OPS, knows the writing is on the wall.