Centre should act now in TN
It is, indeed, a Constitutional crisis in Tamil Nadu as far as the governance is concerned. It is clear that Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa is not in a condition to govern the State and in her absence one of her Cabinet colleagues, preferably senior most amongst them should be designated as deputy CM to govern the State. For this to happen, the option, many legal experts feel, before Governor Ch Vidyasagar Rao is to ask the entire Cabinet to resign and allow them to elect a new Legislature party leader to be the next (acting?), Chief Minister.
The Centre too, should not allow this impasse to continue, which may lead to legal complications as the days' pass by. Again, this situation is not new to Tamil Nadu. In 1969, the then chief minister CN Annadurai was seriously ill, senior most in his Cabinet VR Nedunchezian was made the deputy CM and he continued till M Karunanidhi was elected as the CM. When Karunanidhi fell ill in 2009, his son MK Stalin was made deputy CM.
At the Centre too, Gulzarilal Nanda was a twice interim prime minister of this country, when Pandit Nehru died in 1964 and Lal Bahadur Shastri in 1966. But there is also another aspect to the issue. Maharashtra Governor Ch Vidyasagar Rao was only in-charge Governor of Tamil Nadu. Can an in-charge Governor take measures for getting a new Legislature party leader elected or designate someone as a deputy CM? Legal experts are divided on the issue.
But a majority of them say that the best solution for the present day scenario in Tamil Nadu is to ask the AIADMK to elect a new leader. This is where the Centre has to play a decisive role now. Senior BJP leader and MP Dr Subramanian Swamy had already written a letter to Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh to impose the President’s Rule in Tamil Nadu. He also expressed apprehensions over a former chief secretary Sheela Balakrishnan and Jaya’s personal aide Sasikala running the government. Hence, the NDA government should act immediately to avert any further crisis.