What will now happen to Sasikala, Panneerselvam

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With a Supreme Court bench upholding conviction of long-time Jayalalithaa aide VK Sasikala’s today in a disproportionate assets case, it is clear she will not be the Tamil Nadu chief minister. Her conviction has suddenly altered the political situation in the case.

Here are the scenarios for Sasikala, O. Panneerselvam and the state of Tamil Nadu after today’s Supreme Court order:

Scenarios for Sasikala

1. She can’t become CM of Tamil Nadu

2. She will serve a three-year and six months jail term and pay a penalty of Rs 10 crore.

3. She cannot contest election for 10 years after conviction

4. But you cannot completely write her off. With a claim to Jayalalithaa’s legacy, she can come to lead the AIADMK after serving her jail sentence.

5. By expelling Panneerselvam from the primary membership of the party and appointing her loyalist Edapadi K. Palanisamy as the party’s new leader in the assembly, Sasikala still owns the game. She can keep pulling the strings from the jail of her puppet government until she herself comes out.

Scenarios for O. Panneerselvam

1. Sasikala’s conviction means he has some scope to attract more MLAs.

2. But since he has been expelled from the party, he would need extraordinary luck to get 117 MLAs to back him.

3. His chances of becoming the chief minister are slim now as Sasikala loyalist Palanisamy is the party’s new leader in the assembly.

4. Panneerselvam faces a tough future but in the long run he can emerge as a popular leader as he would claim since he was appointed by Jayalalithaa as in charge of the government he is the legitimate political heir.

Scenarios for Tamil Nadu

1. The death of J. Jayalalithaa itself had changed the politics in the state. The demise of the charismatic leader had created a gap in the politics which Palanisamy or OPS can never fill. If Palanisamymay becomes the CM, he will not be able to have the kind of control Jayalalithaa had on the party. He will at best be a puppet of Sasikala.

2. Lack of a charismatic leader at the top can keep troubling the AIADMK, which is certain to see rebellions in future.

3. An unstable AIADMK will favour DMK which will be more stable due to mass leaders at the top.

4. The state politics will surely remain volatile for several years.

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