Chief Minister O Paneerselvam Could Be The Best Possible Leader For Tamil Nadu?

A true leader’s first job is to mark himself as the single representative of the team he leads, both internally and externally. Ever since December 5th 2016, the series of incidents which have occurred in the state of Tamil Nadu had led to some serious complications.

Who is the real leader of All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (AIADMK)? Who is the one who calls all the shots within the state? Who is the true successor of Ex-Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa? These are some of the major questions put forth by Media houses and people of the state.

Chief Minister (CM) O Paneerselvam had to go through a midnight coup before becoming the designated Chief of the state. In what can be termed as a dramatic climax of events, he was sworn in as the CM of Tamil Nadu at around 01:00 AM on 6th December 2016 by Tamil Nadu Governor Vidyasagar Rao. This is probably not his first stint as the CM of Tamil Nadu, but certainly this is his first term as an independent thinking Chief Minister of the state.

Ever since he had taken up this role, he has had plenty of adversities. CM O Paneerselvam (OPS) is probably the first CM of the state who never had the outright support from the public, never got the complete confidence of the Member of Legislative Assembly (MLA)/ Minister of Parliament (MPs) and he was not the unanimous choice of the party cadres as well. He is faced with dissent within the ranks of the party and the State Government.

Be it the announcement of Sasikala Natarajan as the head of AIADMK or the clamor from MLAs/MPs to elevate Sasikala to the Chief Minister of the state, rebellion was swelling up against him. Probably the only thing which favored CM O Paneerselvam was that he had the complete support from the Centre Government led by Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

Lately, there have been two incidents which clearly marked him as the leader of the state. Firstly the drought situation in the state was at its worst. With nearly 65% deficiency in rainfall, many farmers in the state were resorting to suicides.

Secondly the Jallikattu protests, this was the first time in several decades, “tamizh youngsters” as a society have clamored for a single cause. Both these problems were unique and required unique solutions.

In either of these cases, CM O Paneerselvam had been the sole representative while speaking to the Prime Minister of India. Although Deputy Speaker of the Lok Sabha, M Thambidurai, and other AIADMK MPs wanted to accompany OPS on his visit to meet the PM, it was strictly forbidden by the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO). Rather than trying to play the victim card, our CM O Paneerselvam has gone ahead to meet PM Modi and presented the problems faced in the state.

Once he had the confidence of the Prime Minister, OPS ensured he made all the right steps. From demanding a whopping sum of 39,565 crores as compensation for the drought hit state, to the arrest of the opposition leader of the house M K Stalin during Rail Roko protests; his moves are motivated by his conscious and the demands of the people.

The Central Government has now cleared the Ordinance for Jallikattu and the CM has promised an amendment of the Prevention of Cruelty Act of 1960 with the help of PM Modi.  The youngsters in Marina Beach should ensure that they need not exploit OPS’s well mannered behavior and try to shift goal posts; this will certainly hamper the cause of their peaceful protests.

Chief Minister O Paneerselvam has neither the Charisma of MGR nor the authority of J Jayalalithaa, He seems to have this unique flavor which clearly has a path defined for himself and ensures he make no enemies in the path, a trait that was common in P V Narasimha Rao.

Probably Tamil Nadu is in much safer hands than we expected and OPS could probably be one successful CM who is least affected by sycophancy.