Chennai: The 'double-barrel gun' that the AIADMK's official organ, Namadhu Puratchi Thalaivi Amma, fired on Sunday seems to have rocked the party a bit, it appears. The 'boom-boom' got the scalp of a sub-editor in the paper; poor Panneerselvam got fired for printing the guest article from a 'reader' without 'proper editing' on a day that editor Maruthu Alagaraj was reportedly not present in office. While such minor mishaps can happen at times in party papers, it is interesting to note in the present case that there was no gun at all, to start with.
“There are no double-barrel guns anymore in use anywhere; only single-barrel gun firing one bullet at a time”, laughed AIADMK senior and Lok Sabha Deputy Speaker M. Thambidurai when reporters at the airport sought his comment on the article in his Amma paper, which said the AIADMK government in Tamil Nadu and the BJP regime at the Centre would collaborate as a 'double-barrel gun' to demolish the DMK and its front, particularly on the Cauvery issue.
There's still time for talking about poll alliances and such issues are decided by party seniors, pointed out Thambidurai, firmly distancing not just himself but also basic political logic from the booming 'gun' of his party organ.
Party colleague and senior minster D. Jayakumar reflected the same view, while ticking off the 'gun' author in the Amma paper. He told reporters that the paper could print any guest article but its author “cannot decide on our alliances”. The issue of alliances does not arise now and when it does, the party leadership will take an appropriate decision keeping in view public opinion, he said.
Silencing the Sunday gun and sacking its sub-editor could also mean that the AIADMK leadership does not want any dilution in the anger and angst against the BJP and its government at the Centre expressed in a strongly worded article in the same party organ 10 days ago. The Amma paper had accused them of discriminating against Tamil Nadu in multiple issues - NEET, Cauvery, allotment of Central funds - and warned of a threat to national unity and integration if the 'lotus party' does not change its attitude quickly. That gun blast, it's clear, stays.
“All this cacophony would not be seen if only Amma's around. When she was there, it would only be one voice speaking, one person deciding. We would not even open our mouths to voice an opinion, unless asked”, said a party senior, requesting anonymity. “Now everyone in the party, big and small, feels he or she can exercise the democratic right to express views, even on sensitive issues such as election alliances. We really miss Amma”.
While Jayalalithaa's demise has created multiple challenges for her party and its government, the fracturing of the AIADMK remains the biggest of them all as it made the party brittle and extremely vulnerable. True, the EPS-OPS unification brought about some cementing of the cracks but the 'thorn' called TTV continues to irritate the ruling camp. In this backdrop, the Facebook post of a staunch TTV loyalist P. Vetrivel on Monday caused a flutter as it indicated serious differences within the Sasikala family, which has been aggressively active post-Jayalalithaa.
Considering his closeness to TTV, Vetrivel should have had his master's approval when he alleged in the FB post that Sasikala's brother Dhivakaran had joined hands with Chief Minister Edappadi K. Palaniswami to make it appear as if the 18 MLAs in the TTV camp are now with him (Dhivakaran) and with their support, he would get Sasikala released from jail. “These 18 MLAs are firmly behind TTV and Sasikala; we will never shift to Dhivakaran”, said Vetri's Tamil post, exposing the fissures within the Sasikala family.
AIADMK seniors rue the increasing 'indiscipline' popping up in multiple areas of what had once been a fortress controlled by Amma and wonder how the party is going to prepare itself for the electoral challenges ahead. “True, there are many voices speaking up now; but then we have democratic rights of free expression. Amma had administered the party and the government with a firm grip and took correct decisions. There was no need for us to speak”, said former minister Natham R. Viswanathan.
Stalin is waiting for the sea to dry up so that he could feast on the dry fish (karuvaadu). His dream will not fructify, said minister D. Jayakumar when reporters asked him to comment on DMK leader Stalin's statement made on Sunday that his party would surely come to power "very soon" and the first decision of the DMK government would be to constitute Lok Ayuktha and probe the present AIADMK corruption, when 90 per cent of the present ministers would land in jail.
Stalin is hoping to come to power somehow. That will never happen. And he has no moral authority to speak about corruption because the DMK is a party soaked in Corruption, Jayakumar said...