Chennai: The first address by a Governor who has been proactive in reviewing government projects and the entry of an AIADMK rebel who has promised to topple the ruling dispensation should make the first session of the Tamil Nadu Assembly in 2018, beginning on Monday, a political potboiler.
The short session — most likely to last a week — will begin Monday morning with the customary address by Governor Banwarilal Purohit in which he is expected to give a sneak preview of the EPS-OPS Government’s priorities for the year 2018 and its “achievements” in the year gone by and will also herald T.T.V. Dhinakaran’s maiden entry into the Assembly.
Political observers say the current session is unlikely to bring any changes in the state since none of the AIADMK’s challengers — Dhinakaran and the DMK — have given notices for no confidence motion against the Edappadi K. Palaniswami dispensation though they claim that they will “send them packing” at the drop of a hat.
The rebel leader has given ample indications that he will take efforts to topple the government once the Madras high court delivers its verdict on disqualification of 18 MLAs, who withdrew their support to Palaniswami in August last year. If the verdict comes in Dhinakaran’s favour, he will try to “assert his authority” during the Budget Session which is likely in March, observers said.
Nevertheless, the session is likely to be a stormy one with the Opposition DMK set to raise the issue of the ongoing strike by transport employees that has virtually brought the state to a halt, the extensive damage caused by Cyclone Ockhi that ravaged Kanyakumari district, review meetings by Purohit in districts and the proposed National Medical Commission Bill by the Centre.
Many a political eyebrow will be raised if Dhinakaran, nephew of V.K. Sasikala, supports DMK in either stalling the House or while supporting the arch-rival on any issue.
Already, Palaniswami and his deputy O Panneerselvam have spoken of a DMK-TTV conspiracy in the R.K. Nagar polls that returned Dhinakaran as the victor with a massive margin. The session is also being watched closely in political circles since it is the first time the Assembly is meeting after the EPS-OPS factions merged.
With Dhinakaran harping on his “sleeper cells”, the AIADMK has counselled its legislators not to get provoked by him and has also issued a whip to its members asking them to attend the session from Monday.
Political analyst Ravindran Duraisamy told DC that the session will be a smooth affair and would see a “secret understanding” between Stalin and Palaniswami in cutting Dhinakaran to size.
“It will be a smooth affair. The ruling party will be particular in ensuring that Dhinakaran does not get undue importance. Opposition leader Stalin will also support the ruling party in this. However, Dhinakaran will try to seek attention and it is to be seen whether he is capable of scoring political brownie points inside the Assembly”, he said....