Wednesday, May 16, 2001,
Chandigarh, India


M A I N   N E W S

President not consulted on Jaya’s installation
T.R. Ramachandran
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, May 15
The rapid-fire developments in Tamil Nadu leading to the installation of AIADMK supremo J. Jayalalitha as Chief Minister yesterday have raised serious questions about giving a go by to the provisions of the Constitution and the rule of law.

Raj Bhavan in Chennai appears to have kept Rashtrapati Bhavan out of its ambit of consultations on government formation following the AIADMK secular front’s landslide victory in the May 10 Assembly elections in the state.

President K.R. Narayanan, who was kept informed of the developments in Chennai culminating in Governor Fathima Beevi administering the oath of office and secrecy to a convicted Ms Jayalalitha, is believed to have kept his counsel to himself. The President is leaving for his summer retreat in Shimla on May 19.

It is widely acknowledged by all sections in the political firmament that handing over the reins of Tamil Nadu to Ms Jayalalitha defies all canons of justice and holds dangerous portends to the democratic process. Yet, the Congress high command, G.K. Moopanar’s TMC and the PMK chief Ramadoss have acquiesced in Ms Jayalalitha’s leadership despite lofty public statements of fighting corruption tooth and nail.

Legal experts observe that the increasing trend of politicians overtly or covertly trying to subvert the due process of law and violate the provisions of the Constitution can be catastrophic. “That is why all eyes are on Tamil Nadu to see how Ms Jayalalitha overcomes the preponderant issue of disqualification which will be precedent setting,” opine legal experts. “The fact that only she can be the Chief Minister because of the peoples’ mandate cannot stand the scrutiny of the courts at this juncture,” is the belief of these experts.

Legal luminaries have no doubt that Ms Jayalalitha’s object of regaining chief ministership is expected to lead to a spate of litigation. That can be a major irritant for Jayalalitha in running the affairs of Tamil Nadu. They feel the Governor, who enjoys discretionary powers, probably came to the conclusion that there was no option but to invite Ms Jayalalitha to form a government to avoid a delicate law and order situation arising.

Ms Fathima Beevi, a former judge of the Supreme Court, completes her term as Governor of Tamil Nadu in the later half of January next year.

Despite Ms Jayalalitha’s averments that there is no question of taking revenge against her opponents, her arch rivals in the DMK are girding up their loins to face the challenge. The DMK leadership is acutely aware that the rollercoaster ride for them is over.

The legalese apart, Ms Jayalalitha’s mind-boggling triumph has come much to her own bewilderment, thanks in large measure to her disqualification from contesting the Assembly poll and the PMK transferring the Vanniyar votes to the AIADMK without any major glitches. The DMK’s strategy to seek a positive vote for development and promote casteist groupings to neutralise PMK’s stranglehold in North Tamil Nadu has been rejected outright by the electorate.

Clearly, there was an undercurrent among the people of Tamil Nadu that Ms Jayalalitha had suffered enough at the hands of her detractors for nearly five years. Public memory being short, they have not been found wanting for the fourth time since 1989 to alternate between the two Dravidian fronts. And this time it was the turn of the Amma and her AIADMK secular front.


Governor violated norms: BJP
Swearing-in of Jayalalitha
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, May 15
The BJP today questioned Tamil Nadu Governor Fathima Beevi’s decision to invite Ms Jayalalitha to form the government in Tamil Nadu, saying the decision was against established norms.

“The decision raises many questions,” BJP leader Narendra Modi told reporters here. He said while there was a tradition of charge-sheeted persons quitting office, in Tamil Nadu a convicted leader had been sworn-in as Chief Minister.

“It is not clear if the Governor had consulted legal experts,” Mr Modi said.

Taking a swipe at the Congress which had supported Ms Jayalalitha becoming the Chief Minister, Mr Modi said the BJP was not surprised at the Congress reaction as the party had been repeatedly violating court verdicts. Giving the example of Emergency, Mr Modi said the Congress had not accepted the Allahabad High Court judgement and had amended the Constitution to suit its purpose.

He said the happenings in Chennai had justified BJP government’s decision to form a Constitution Review Panel. “Confusions are emerging and the situation is becoming worrisome,” Mr Modi contended.

The BJP also clarified that the Samata Party-led government in Manipur was stable and the BJP was not posing any threat to it. Recently a large number of MLAs in the state had joined the BJP.

Asked about toady’s meeting of Samata Party leaders Mr George Fernandes and Jaya Jaitley with BJP President Jana Krishnamurthy, Mr Modi said the situation in Manipur was discussed.

Reacting to Congress President Sonia Gandhi’s criticism of the Uttar Pradesh Government’s refusal to issue fresh notification on the Ayodhya issue, Mr Modi said the Congress was responsible for the flaws in the earlier notification and was now trying to shift the blame.

Mr Modi announced that a meeting of the national office-bearers and leaders in-charge of various states would be held on May 20 and 21 at Mussoorie. The party will make an in-depth analysis of its dismal performance in the assembly elections to five states and decide its strategy for the future.Back

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