October 7, 2017
AIADMK is caught between green and saffron, literally. While it is an open secret that the government run by Chief Minister Edappadi K Palaniswami and and his deputy O.Panneerselvam are singing paeans to the Centre, the party’s attempt to abandon Jayalalithaa’s favourite and lucky colour green and take to BJP’s saffron was met with stiff criticism.
When Jayalalithaa was alive, green was the colour of the party and from ministers to grassroots cadre, all used to have cards with the picture of their ‘amma’ clad in green saree in their see-through pockets.
She would ensure that the entire Tamil Nadu sported green during her regime. In May 2015, after her party was elected to form the government for a second successive term, Jayalalithaa dazzled in green at the swearing-in ceremony. Right from her saree, glittering stone in her ring, the pen with which she signed after being sworn in, the bouquet of flowers presented to her to the backdrop of the Madras centenary auditorium among others, it was green all the way. Such was the obsession or call it fascination she had for the colour.
Nine months after her death, the government in the hands of the unified EPS-OPS factions is going for a colour change. They abandoned their amma’s favoured green and tried replaced it with saffron.
It was evident in the swearing-in ceremony of Governor Banwarilal Purohit in Chennai on Friday. Chairs wrapped in white cloth were decked up with silky saffron bows and the car pass issued by the Tamil Nadu government for VIPs, which usually used to be in white, was found printed in saffron.
If one were to dismiss these as linked to Governor appointed by the BJP government at the Centre, the invites for the state government’s programmes too have undergone a change. Invitations of the health department’s dengue prevention activities were in saffron.
But Fisheries Minister D Jayakumar has denied having printed dengue awareness materials in saffron. “It is not saffron, it is red which is aimed at creating awareness about dengue,”he told reporters and asked those having ‘colour blindness’ to visit an ophthalmologist.
Even as the predominant use of saffron colour in government materials has not gone well with the cadre, another AIADMK minister Sellur K Raju’s name is found as chief guest in RSS’s Vijayadasami function and march in Madurai slated for Sunday. While the police are yet to take a call on permitting the march, Raju too has distanced himself claiming his name was included by the RSS without his knowledge.
But V K Sasikala, the sidelined general secretary of the party and Jayalalithaa’s ‘soulmate’, who is on a 5-day emergency parole, is seen only in green saree right from the time she stepped out from Parapana Agrahara jail in Bengaluru.
Meanwhile, the party returned to its original green during the MGR centenary celebrations held in Dharmapuri on Sunday. This time the green colour of the backdrop, functionaries’ badges and other accessories and paraphernalia was thicker than ever perhaps to quell criticism.