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'Impose central rule and call for fresh polls in TN'

By Shobha Warrier
February 17, 2017 14:02 IST
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'The people of Tamil Nadu are fed up of these people, whether it is Panneerselvam or Palaniswami.'

IMAGE: Tamil Nadu Chief Minister Edappadi K Palaniswami, All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazagham Deputy General Secretary V N Dinakaran, to his left, along with ministers at J Jayalalithaa's samadhi at Marina beach after the swearing-in ceremony in Chennai. February 16, 2017. Photograph: PTI Photo

E V K S Elangovan, former president of the Tamil Nadu Congress Committee, had backed Governor Ch Vidyasagar Rao's decision to wait for the Supreme Court verdict in the disproportionate assets case before considering V K Sasikala's claim to be sworn in as chief minister.

But he is against the governor's decision to swear in Sasikala's nominee Edappadi Palaniswami as chief minister.

In an interview to's Shobha Warrier, Elangovan, left, says President's rule should be imposed in the state followed by fresh elections.

How do you explain the political situation in Tamil Nadu?

The political situation in Tamil Nadu is very unstable. The only solution I see is fresh elections.

Till then the chaos will continue.

It is quite clear that the people of Tamil Nadu are fed up of these people, whether it is Panneerselvam or Palaniswami.

The mood of the people is for fresh elections and not continuing with some permutation or the other.

Fresh elections are the only solution to the problem.

But can the governor go by public sentiment and call for fresh elections even when one person has the required numbers in the legislature?

The mood of the people in Tamil Nadu is against Sasikala, which everybody knows and has seen.

They have been watching her for the last 30 years. People say just because she was serving Jayalalithaa, she cannot capture power.

Even though she is behind bars after the Supreme Court verdict, she has the party in her clutches, and now the government too.

This is against the wishes of the people.

Sasikala's MLAs have been in Chennai for the last 15 days, but once they get back to their constituencies, I am sure the people will force them to resign.

In a situation like this, when public sentiment is against the current dispensation, can the governor look at the mood of the people and not just arithmetic alone?

I feel the governor should have taken the mood of the people into consideration instead of just the numbers.

I don't know the rules and regulations and what the Constitution says, but as an ordinary citizen of India, I totally agree with you.

Why do you think the MLAs do not see how strongly the people feel about this?

People feel that Jayalalithaa got into trouble because of Sasikala and they want her to not come into politics at all.

But she still holds all the MLAs with her. That's why the people are so wild and angry with them.

What the MLAs are looking at is being in power for another four-and-a-half years. They want to somehow complete their term.

Once they are back in their constituencies, I am sure they will be forced by the people to resign.

Do you feel if they had been thinking of a long political career, they would not have behaved so? Why are they giving importance to short-term gains?

I agree with you. If they wanted to have a long-term innings in politics, they would not have supported Palaniswami.

But what they feel is they have a chance right now and four-and-a-half years in front of them.

Do you think they were held captive in the resort against their will by Sasikala's people?

It is very obvious that they have been forced to be at the resort and not be let out at any cost.

Even then, they could have escaped, some of them did.

Till the floor test, the MLAs will stay at the resort. Is it not a mockery of democracy?

Keeping the MLAs with goondas all around is definitely a challenge to democracy.

I don't know why the governor has not taken all these things into consideration before inviting Palaswami.

The governor should have gone in for President's rule and then fresh elections. That would have been the best decision.

I don't know under what circumstances the governor took this decision.

Do you think there will be some surprise during the floor test?

Anything can happen with these MLAs as their mind is only on survival, not work for the people.

I want to say again that a stable government can be established only after fresh elections.

If there is a fresh election, will it be advantage DMK (Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam)?

Definitely, it is advantage to the DMK-Congress alliance. People are fed up of the AIADMK.

But the image of the DMK also is not that good.

What to do? That is the only alternative the state has.

The three major parties in Tamil Nadu are the AIADMK, the DMK and the Congress. All other parties are not represented in the assembly.

As the people are dead against the AIADMK, there should be a fresh election.

Our alliance will win when it happens.

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Shobha Warrier /