Panneerselvam-Sasikala battle brings back the memories of Jayalalithaa-Janki split after MGR demise

10 February 2017, 07:37 PM
Panneerselvam-Sasikala battle brings back the memories of Jayalalithaa-Janki split after MGR demise
Panneerselvam-Sasikala battle brings back the memories of Jayalalithaa-Janki split after MGR demise

Tamil Nadu is witnessing a political turmoil days after the demise of former Chief Minister and IAIADMK chief J. Jayalalithaa. Tamil Nadu Chief Minister O Panneerselvam raised a banner of revolt against Sasikala, saying he was forced to resign by her, picked by the AIADMK to take over from him.

Dramatic events unfolded on Tuesday night, when Panneerselvam claimed he was the chosen successor of Jayalalithaa, who died in December.

In a quick retaliation after he raised a banner of revolt against her, AIADMK General Secretary V K Sasikala on Tuesday night sacked O Panneerselvam from the top party post of treasurer.

She replaced Panneerselvam with Dindigul C Srinivasan, who is also the Forest Minister and is seen number two in the hierarchy in the Council of Ministers.

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Well, the Panneerselvam-Sasikala battle has brought back the memories of the split between Jayalalithaa and MG Ramachandran’s wife Janaki after his demise in December 1987.

Ramachandran’s wife Janaki took over as the Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu after MGR’s death, however, she lost the post in less than a month. The Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (ADMK) split into two factions – one led by Jayalalithaa and the other by Janaki.

The ADMK legislature party had a strength of 132 including Speaker PH Pandian. Out of 132, 97 supported the Janaki faction, while 33 were in support of Jayalalithaa camp and Pandian backed Janaki.

ALSO READ | Sasikala says Panneerselvam working at the behest of DMK

On January 30 1986, the then Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi dismissed the Janaki government and president’s rule was imposed in the state.

In January 1989, elections were again held in the state. Both the ADMK factions claimed to be the official ADMK and requested the election commission to grant the ‘two leaves’ symbol of the ADMK to them. 

The election commission refused to recognise either of them as the official ADMK and temporarily froze the ‘two leaves’ symbol. Instead it awarded the "cock" symbol to the Jayalalithaa faction (ADMK(JL)), while the Janaki faction (ADMK(JR)) was given the ‘two doves’ symbol.

In 1982, Jayalalithaa joined the AIADMK and in March 1983, she became the propaganda secretary of the AIADMK.

In 1984, she was elected and remained a member of the Rajya Sabha from 1984-1989. She was also elected Deputy Leader of the party's parliamentary group.

In an interview with The Hindu on January 20, 1985, Jayalalithaa spoke about her removal from the deputy leadership of the AIADMK Parliamentary Party at a time when MGR was hospitalised in New York. 

“If Mr. M. G. Ramachandran was perfectly all right and was in full possession of mental faculties and was able to understand questions and answer them and gave instructions and orders, she asked, ‘why then are these leaders afraid to let me meet him’.”

On December 25, 1987, Jayalalithaa was humiliated at MG Ramachandran’s funeral procession. Jayalalithaa assumes General Secretaryship of the AIADMK in 1988.  

In February 1989, she reunited the two factions of the AIADMK and restored the ‘Two Leaves’ symbol. 

First Published: Wednesday, February 08, 2017 10:33 AM
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