How Panneerselvam missed the bus but could still bounce back

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The big hurdle was splitting the party down the middle and not attracting disqualification.

It’s finally hit O. Panneerselvam in the face! The man who caught the attention of the Mannargudi clan and in particular, Sasikala Natarajan’s nephew TTV Dinakaran when he powered Dinakaran’s election victory in Periyukalam as his campaign manager in ’99, must know now that the cards in his avatar as an AIADMK rebel are stacked against him. The BJP, which seemed to have given him the time and the opportunity to bring just eight MLAs over from Sasikala’s camp, reducing her cache of 124 MLAs to 117, have washed their hands off him.

The big hurdle was splitting the party down the middle and not attracting disqualification. Convincing the legislators that they had a future with him was an uphill task, especially when the only other option was to dissolve the assembly and seek fresh elections. Not one of the MLAs was willing to bear the cost, not a bare nine months after they had won. Panneerselvam has no carrots to offer.

But who’s to say, that in the coming weeks, that the BJP, which some reports suggest has already played mediator between the two camps, will not persuade these former trusted lieutenants to rebuild ties.

An united AIADMK, which backs the BJP in the Rajya Sabha, as it did during Amma’s time, and must back it when it is time for the BJP to bring in their President of the Republic this coming July, is after all, vital.

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