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Who will succeed Jayalalithaa ?

Chennai, Sep 28 (TruthDive): Jayalalithaa stepping down as CM over the DA case is known but who will succeed her is the question.

O Paneerselvam who is number two is a hot contender but a new name now crops which is A Navaneethakrishnan, former advocate general and ex-TNSPC Chairman. Jayalalithaa will have to spend three days in a Bangalore jail before she gets bail. Navaneethakrishnan is a Rajya Sabha MP.

As Jayalalithaa had found that O Paneerselvam previously acting as dummy CM was inadequate. Navaneethakrishnan was put in charge to clean up TNPSC after the mess left behind by ex-IPS officer R Nataraj. As Jayalalithaa has to give up her seat, she might put Navaneethakrishnan as the candidate in the bypoll.

The verdict will be showcased as a people’s verdict of giving her a clean chit. The only snag is that Pannerselvam is AIADMK face for Thevar community and that Jayalalithaa aide Sasikala who has been convicted is also a Thevar.

The Congress and DMK had banked on a similar verdict much before the Assembly elections for TN but it never happened. Delaying tactics took place and to an extent that the prosecutor took leave inviting Supreme Court’s ire.

On June 14, 1996,she  filed a complaint before the Principal Sessions Judge saying that she as CM on a salary of Re 1 had assets worth Rs 66 crores.

Dr Subramanian Swamy who was then in Janata Party was recommended for a Union Finance Minister berth in Vajpayee ministry by Jayalalithaa. Now Janata Party has merged with BJP. DVAC on court orders started a probe. Though a FIR was filed and a list of witnesses were listed, in 2001 when Jayalalithaa came back to power, the witnesses were recalled which invited Supreme Court’s ire.

DMK general secretary Anbazhagan then got a Supreme Court order to move the case to Bangalore from Madras High Court. Supreme Court transferring the case noted that the public prosecutor who is appointed by the AIADMK ministry appears to be siding with Jayalalithaa. It said that a free trial was not possible in Madras High Court.

Politically DMK cannot make any gains as it would only get Jayalalithaa sympathy from women voters as her lawyer pointed that she is a chronic diabetic and any jail sentence could be fatal to her. At the time of writing, Jayalalithaa according to sources has the option to seek bail from Karnataka High Court and get the sentence stayed which includes not paying the fine of Rs 100 crores.

Here again, legal experts say that a conviction of more than two years is not given bail but it is up to the judge. Her getting any relief from the case is not possible as the charges against her are watertight.

Politically AIADMK has increased the ground support especially among the women electorate after the present conviction. In each instance starting from her being pushed out of the carriage carrying MGR’s body and her disrobing in the Assembly to her being jailed in colour TV scam and later disqualified for her conviction in corruption cases, Jayalalithaa has come back with a thumping majority.

As both DMK and AIADMK have their share of corruption cases, BJP looks towards emerging as an alternative and Dr Swamy had stated that it was he who filed the complaint against Jayalalithaa but DMK was taking credit.