Tamil Nadu legislature in crisis, is Governor washing his hands off?
While Tamil Nadu legislature has once again been marred with controversy over AIADMK MLAs bribery row, Governor Vidyasagar Rao seems to have chosen to wash his hands off the matter. Rao, who had come under severe fire earlier for his delayed response during political turmoil in Tamil Nadu over AIADMK split, has once again chosen to shift responsibilities of managing the crisis on the assembly speaker and Chief Secretary.
A sting operation showing two MLAs of the AIADMK speaking about money and gold being offered to support either faction of the AIADMK has once again exposed the rot in Tamil Nadu legislature. Opposition parties took out a delegation to meet the Governor and submitted a petition seeking a fresh vote of confidence in the assembly and a CBI inquiry into the matter of alleged bribery. While the Governor's office accepted the petition, no action was promised. Instead, on Monday, the governor forwarded the petition to the Speaker and the Chief Secretary to 'act' on it.
Governor wants to let Speaker handle the crisis
A press release from the Governor's office said that the matters raised by the opposition was already pending before the Madras High Court. Despite a CD containing the sting operation being submitted, the Governor remained non-committal on the possibilities of seeking a fresh floor test.
Earlier this year, Vidyasagar Rao was criticised for failing to act promptly over the political crisis that Tamil Nadu witnessed. Following the demise of Jayalalithaa, the AIADMK split into two factions led by Sasikala Natarajan and O Panneerselvam. While ugly politics played out in public, the Governor was away from Tamil Nadu. It was not until Sasikala Natarajan made Edappadi Palanisamy the Chief Minister and her nephew TTV Dinakaran the deputy secretary of AIADMK in February that the governor finally asked for a floor test. 122 MLAs had voted for Chief Minister Edappadi K Palaniswami on February 18 when he moved the vote of confidence.
The Governor's refusal to visit Chennai when a crisis was playing out and his delay in responding to the leadership crisis in AIADMK and subsequent split had drawn flak from opposition parties as well as political analysts. Once again, as opposition parties have demanded a floor test, the Governor has chosen to let the speaker and the Chief Secretary act on their petition.