September 30, 2017
For the Dravidian parties, it will be first full-time encounter with a full time governor with complete backing of the Modi government as Banwarilal Purohit, a veteran politician from Vidharbha in Maharashtra steps into the Raj Bhavan in Chennai.
But his task in Chennai is cut out – as a full blown political war between two factions within the ruling AIADMK is on and at present inside the Madras High Court. Much would depend on the interpretation of the Madras High Court on the goings on in the assembly, where the ruling AIADMK led by chief minister Edapaddi Palanisami is accused of creating an artificial majority by getting 18 rebels MLAs belonging to TTV Dinakaran camp disqualified.
Even as the governor packs his bags from Guhawati, where he is posted at present, the Dravidian parties are sharpening their respective weapons. Already, the DMK is in the High court seeking its directive to governor to conduct a floor test as the DMK asserts that EPS government was reduced to a majority after 18 MLAs withdrew support in writing to the governor.
Will governor act like an impartial umpire in the political big fight between two factions of AIADMK or takes decisions that further the cause of one or the other factions, and by extension to the BJP, remains to be seen.
Political analyst Ramu Manivannan of the Madras University has no doubt that the governor, who has his ultimate allegiance to the central government, will take decisions that will eventually help BJP grow in the state. Political commentator Gnyani Shankaran said with a full-time governor the BJP will dabble in the state full time.
The principal opposition party, the DMK has welcomed the full-time governor, Purohit, a three-time MP from Nagpur, twice representing the Congress and once the BJP, and hoped that he would be fair, just and impartial. But at the same time, the DMK expressed its fears that the hidden hand of the RSS will always be influencing decisions.
The first test is the governor’s interpretation of the disqualification of 18 MLAs, for writing letters to him withdrawing their faith in chief minister. Acting governor C Vidyasagar Rao had refused to interfere in what he called internal squabble in a political party, following which the DMK went to court seeking directions for a floor test.
Meanwhile speaker had disqualified 18 MLAs, bringing the effective majority mark in the assembly to 108. The EPS government has a majority in a truncated house with 113 MLA. The DMK does not recognise the disqualification, which has been challenged.
So, the new governor’s first task would depend on the outcome of the Madras High Court order.
BJP state unit chief, Tamilisai Soundarrajan was confident that the opposition will be proven wrong and Governor Purohit will function in a positive manner.
Purohit is a leader from Vidharbha in Maharashtra and a three-time MP from Nagpur. He is also the managing editor of English daily Hitavada, founded in 1911 by Gopal Krishna Gokhle.