Will AIADMK govt stay through third year?

Will AIADMK govt stay through third year?

The AIADMK government will complete its two-year roller coaster ride on Wednesday. PTI file photo

With the case relating to disqualification of 18 MLAs hanging over its head like the Damocles’ sword, the AIADMK government, propelled by the charismatic J Jayalalithaa in 2016, will complete its two-year roller coaster ride on Wednesday.

But, the big question that is on the mind of everyone is whether the government, that is now saddled with infighting and is on a perpetual firefighting mode, will stay the course to celebrate its third anniversary.

Having seen three chief ministers — Jayalalithaa, O Panneerselvam and Edappadi K Palaniswami — the government plunged into minority status in August 2017 after 18 MLAs owing allegiance to rebel leader T T V Dhinakaran expressed no confidence in EPS. The dispensation has been at the receiving end for its over-reliance on the BJP and “surrendering the rights of the state” to the Centre.

The disqualification was subsequently challenged in the Madras High Court that is expected to hand out its verdict any time. The second anniversary of the government led by the AIADMK, which wrote itself into history in the summer of 2016 by retaining power bunking three-decade-old trend, is commemorated amid intense speculation that the dispensation might not last beyond a couple of months and that the state is headed for simultaneous polls along with the 2019 Lok Sabha elections.

The 18 MLAs case could prove very tricky for the party since the government would have problems whichever way the case goes. A senior AIADMK leader told DH that if the disqualification is struck down, the government might be forced to prove its strength on the floor of the House and if it is upheld, then the 18 seats would go for bypolls which would be very difficult for the government to face.

“It is particularly tricky since the DMK looks resurgent now and if it cashes in on the sentiment, then the government will have to pack its bag. The verdict will decide the fate of the government in more than one way,” he said.

Political analysts say constant reassertion of Dhinakaran as the “future leader” of the AIADMK and the BJP's secret infatuation towards newbie politician Rajinikanth to project him as the face of its still-in-works “grand alliance” could pose the trouble for the EPS-OPS duo as they struggle to keep their flock together. They also said the longevity of the government depends on the BJP and the Union government led by it as they hold the key to the remote control.

“It has lasted this time defying all constitutional and political odds thanks to the Centre which has been this government's benefactor. The decision on the MLAs disqualification might test the TN government if it goes against it but it is assumed that the Centre's political expediency will decide on the longevity of this inept administration,” R Kannan, biographer of late C N Annadurai and M G Ramachandran, told DH.

Senior DMK leader Durai Murugan said though the government had lost all its legitimate rights to continue in office long back, it is on life support, courtesy of the BJP. “If the BJP takes off the life support, the government will have its natural death. It all depends on the BJP. This government is at the beck and call of the BJP and everything depends on them,” he said.