CHENNAI: On his return from New Delhi, where his government prevailed upon the BJP government to promulgate ordinance for the conduct of jallikattu, Tamil Nadu chief minister O Panneerselvam, was all the more pleased to take questions from the media, a rarity in Jayalalithaa regime, that if he would flag off the event. The beaming CM, with a pause, turned around to say, “It will happen according to your wish.” From a reticent person to an asserting authority, OPS has come a long way.
After toning down “Chinnamma for CM” chorus, the AIADMK members, who will now have to rally behind Panneerselvam, said they would take opposition head on with “unrestrained counters” in the Assembly session beginning Monday, a first after the demise of Jayalalithaa. Taking pride in jallikattu ordinance, the party will train guns on Congress-DMK combine for being the reason for jallikattu ban. The party will take leverage in introducing a bill to replace jallikattu ordinance on Day 1 of the session.
Emerging with huge representation of members may have bolstered DMK and its allies, but Panneerselvam and his cabinet colleagues are set to turn vociferous against each other. “We conducted ourselves in a manner that decorum of the House was maintained under the watchful eyes of Amma, but not anymore. From jallikattu to water disputes to fishermen, each one of us is waiting to pounce on the misgovernance of DMK,” a minister said. Under Jayalalithaa, only senior ministers countering the opposition.
With OPS’s proficiency in inter-state water disputes proving handy, AIADMK will confront with ease the opposition’s strident criticism on water issues. The state, which proudly claims “walking the path of Jayalalithaa”, will take pride in Jayalalithaa establishing rights over Cauvery and Mullaperiyar water by the legal route. It will continue to detail efforts for permanent mechanisms to resolve the festering Cauvery row or raise water level in the Mullaperiyar dam.
Asserting his authority and leading the pack with his “pro-activeness” especially during Cyclone Vardah, Panneerselvam seems to enjoy an air of camaraderie with the bureaucracy and it will be evident this session.
AIADMK will have to justify its reversal of sorts on issues like Centre’s Uday and Goods and Services Tax.