Chennai: Right from day one of assuming charge, Tamilnadu Chief Minister Edappadi K Palaniswami and his Karnataka counterpart H D Kumaraswamy have been facing multiple challenges. But, how Palaniswami has successfully overcome hurdles is turning out to be a case study for not just Kumaraswamy, but other struggling politicians, too.
In fact, unlike Kumaraswamy who already had the experience of tasting power, Palaniswami was a novice when he became the Chief Minister, and many were waiting to write him off, saying, ‘he won’t be able to retain the CM post for more than 10 days’.
In Palaniswami’s own words, “From the time I took up the reins as Chief Minister, the DMK has been highly critical. It said my government will not last more than 10 days. Not 10 days or 100 days, my government has travelled a long way exceeding even 700 days. Amma’s government has been successfully serving the people and it will continue to serve them.”
The very first challenge Palaniswami faced was when he was asked to prove his majority soon after coming to power. However, amid unprecedented ruckus in the Assembly, Palaniswami emerged successful by just sitting with a meaningful silence. “It was his first victory and it was because of his strong organisational skills and self-confidence,” says an AIADMK office-bearer.
The second boost came for EPS when O Panneerselvam came forward to bury the hatchet. As the EPS and OPS factions joined forces, the AIADMK officially became theirs and T T V Dhinakaran, who is now the founder of AMMK, was shown the door.
When things appeared to be going smooth, Palaniswami had to handle the revolt from 18 MLAs who were in support of Dhinakaran. But, in a move that sent strong signals to dissidents, all 18 were disqualified by Speaker P Dhanapal. Recently, the Madras High Court upheld the Speaker’s order and the 18 constituencies are vacant now.
And, when the Tiruvarur by-election was assumed to be a litmus test for the AIADMK government, it was rescinded by the Election Commission “due to Gaja cyclone relief work”.
Last, but not the least, shocking charges were made against the Chief Minister in connection with the robbery and murders linked to Kodanadu estate. However, Palaniswami did not lose his cool and had this to say: “Those unable to take us on politically are resorting to such cheap cowardice. A complaint has been lodged with the Chennai police and investigation will throw light on those behind it and strong action will be initiated against those responsible.”
Accordingly, the police acted swiftly, went to Delhi, and arrested two persons who were later released by a court.
Despite all these, Palaniswami is all smiles as usual and celebrated Pongal in his native place, while his opponents still wait for their ‘Deepavali’.