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The course of developments in Tamil Nadu clearly points to a dubious role being played by the Central government. It is the Constitutional responsibility of the Governor to install a stable government in Tamil Nadu. 

The legislators of AIADMK have elected V K Sasikala as their legislature party leader. Chief Minister O Panneerselvam resigned from his office before staging a revolt. The latest revolt of OPS is a political development which the Governor is not obliged by the Constitution to take into cognisance while deciding on his resignation.  

The Constitution clearly says that the Governor is bound to call the leader of the party that enjoys support of majority legislators or the leader of the single largest party. At this point of time, even considering the revolt of OPS, Sasikala seems to be satisfying either of these two considerations. So, the Governor cannot wait. 

It’s rather surprising that the Governor who is supposed to be in Chennai at this crucial hour is keeping away from the state. The Constitution of India does not allow the Governor to rule.

The Supreme Court is yet to take a call on the question of eligibility of Sasikala to be the leader of AIADMK legislature party. Therefore, Governor cannot use his discretion to let the crisis in ruling party to precipitate.

He should be detached from the internal developments in AIADMK and go by Constitutional provisions rather than any political considerations. 

It’s true that Sasikala is facing a crisis of political legitimacy due to volatility in the party. But, any further delay by the Governor would only worsen the situation. 

There may be many allegations against Sasikala’s style of leadership and the love-and-hate relationship she had with Jayalalithaa. The manner in which OPS was made to quit may rise many an eyebrow. 

But, all these aspects are in the realm of politics and the Governor should be unconcerned about such political maneuvers and go by the best traditions of the Constitution. 

It’s a fact that the Governor had an active political background. Obviously, his actions raise suspicion over the possible role of the Central government.  

Governor is the custodian of the Constitution. His actions cannot be outside the realm of the Constitution.  Even if the Governor’s actions are politically right, they constitute Constitutional impropriety. Indian democracy is a witness to gross misuse of gubernatorial office. 

The BJP is clearly fishing in Tamil Nadu’s troubled waters to make a foray into this south Indian state politics. But, such a political manipulation would be detrimental to the national interests as Tamil Nadu is known for explosive anti-Centre sentiment. 

Despite his political antecedents, Governor is a non-party man once he assumes this office. He cannot be seen acting at the behest of Centre to suit the political machinations of the ruling party in New Delhi. 

It’s worth recalling the words of Dr B R Ambedkar who said that Governor is an agent of the Constitution but not of the ruling party at the Centre. The Governor cannot leave the state in limbo. 

The Governor is constitutionally obliged to invite Sasikala to swear in as Chief Minister and ask her to prove her majority on the floor of the house given the turmoil in the ruling party. 


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