On Tuesday, the Supreme Court of India reversed the verdict of the Karnataka High Court that had acquitted VK Sasikala in the disproportionate assets case, thereby, restoring her conviction.
Consequently, this makes her ineligible to sit in the Legislative Assembly and she cannot take office as chief minister of Tamil Nadu. Further, she cannot take office for a period of 10 years as Section 8 (1)(ii) of the Representation of the People Act of 1951 makes her ineligible from holding elected office for six years after her release.
She has few options now before her. She can file a review petition against the judgement of the Supreme Court. This may be admitted if the court is satisfied that there is an error on the face of the record. If that fails, she may move a curative petition before the Supreme Court, the court may admit that if it is satisfied that there was a failure of natural justice in her case. Short of having this order reversed though, it's safe to say, Sasikala's career in Indian politics has effectively ended on Tuesday.
While one love story with power has broken this Valentine's Day, another may have just begun prematurely. O Paneerselvam seems to have a lot of MLAs flocking to him. Latest reports say that 22 MLAs have arrived at his camp, causing Saskikala to no longer have an effective majority. However, Paneerselvam does not have enough support to prove or command a majority on the floor of the House, his road to making his seat at Fort St George permanent is still quite murky.
The AIADMK's new legislative party leader can submit his name to the governor. This time, the governor will have no option but to either order a floor test for Paneerselvam or invite the AIADMK leader to form a government. In the event Paneerselvam fails the floor test, the AIADMK leader will have to be called.
In all likelihood, the new AIADMK government will not be able to have a clear majority in the Assembly now, which means Tamil Nadu could see early elections. Unless somehow, their new AIADMK leader is able to reconcile the OPS camp and the Sasikala Camp, it seems the AIDMK will go into the polls as a fractured party. However, if the AIADMK does manage to pass a floor test, it will emerge stronger than ever before as it would have won a propaganda victory of mammoth proportions.
Updated Date: Feb 14, 2017 13:33 PM