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One year on, Palaniswami gaining ground

Statesman News Service | Chennai |

Edappadi K Palaniswami completes his one year in power in Tamil Nadu. The importance of the achievement is that a grass root level politician at the helm is gaining ground in the state after about two decades.

Though his party, AIADMK, ruled the state for about a quarter century, at the helm were matinee idols- turned politician ~ the mighty M G Ramachandran and J Jayalalithaa.

Edappadi’s feat becomes brighter when we consider the fact that he inherited a fractured party from his supremo J Jayalalithaa, who died after prolonged hospitalisation in 2016 December and a break up with V K Sasikala in February 2017.

When Palaniswami was sworn in as the chief minister on 16 February last year, many thought the government will not last and the State may face fresh elections because he rose to the power by sidelining the mighty Mannargudi family (read as V K Sasikala and TTV Dinakaran), which controlled both AIAADMK and to a certain extend Jayalalithaa for about three decades.

But, a year on, the government led by him overcame many turbulent situations in which ruling AIADMK party was on the verge of collapse into different factions in the absence Jayalalithaa. Now there seems to be no imminent challenge to the government stability which would be a worrisome factor for both Dinakaran and DMK, the main opposition.

Even the relentless critics of the present political situation and the governance, the ambitious newcomers Rajinikanth and Kamal Haasan have to think twice before giving shape to their future plans and policies they wanted to formulate for their intended systemic change.

Though so many observers point out that sustaining a government machinery amidst so many challenges is no mean achievement, they fail to point out that Palaniswami could not have achieved this feat if there were a strong opposition within the party and from outside would be there.

Though Dinakaran gave so many sleepless nights to him, the unrelenting support he and his party attained from the BJP and the government led by it in the centre stabilised the government.