Monday, 28 November 2011

Martin Luther Kings in Tamil Nadu Cabinet?

‘I have a dream’ thundered Martin Luther King from the steps of Lincoln Memorial advocating equality for blacks in the US in 1963.   It appears that many Ministers in Tamil Nadu are also having a dream perhaps of a different kind...of becoming the Chief Minister of the State. The buzz in the ministerial circles is that  many of them are almost convinced that Jayalalitha will be convicted in the assets case.  Based on this assessment TN Ministers are having high dreams to become Amma's successor. 

Though AIADMK is a party that claims to be an offspring of the atheist Dravidar Kazhagam and that follows the principles of Anna, at present the AIADMK is a party that is known for its superstitions and belief in astrology.  And the latest one in the AIADMK camp to openly come out with his superstitions appears to be the Power Minister Natham Viswanathan who is reportedly to be the top dreamer..  Whispers doing rounds in the Ministerial circles is that Natham Viswanathan has been told by an astrologer that his stars would take him to the post of ‘Chief Minister’. 

Natham Viswanathan who now seems to be completely carried away and consumed by his dreams of Chief Minister post is giving a red carpet welcome and VIP treatment to whoever says that he will become CM. 
Natham Viswanathan is praying all his gods and spending his time in temples and shrines to fulfill his dream, say sources in Fort St George. Corporate sharks have found the word ‘you will become Chief Minister’ as the only mantra with Natham Viswanathan who holds a crucial portfolio in Amma's cabinet to get their things done.  Natham Viswanahtan however is keen on filling his coffers ahead of the Chief Minister race, if any. Sources in Electricity Board say, Natham Viswanathan is all set to give a tough competition to his predecessor Arcot N.Veerasamy in making money.   While the state is witnessing severe power crisis Natham Viswanathan appears to be determined to take his share of the booty from TNEB. 

Though the AIADMK has made a huge fuss about corruption in the import of coal during DMK regime, now the AIADMK government too is following the same line drawn by the DMK as far as coal import is concerned, say TNEB insiders.   

Senthil Balaji.
Besides Natham Viswanathan Ministers like Kamaraj, Velumani, Senthil Balaji and Vaithiyalingam are also nurturing their dreams for the hot seat say AIADMK.  In the present cabinet people from a powerful community of the Kongu region are given prominence.   Based on this Ministers belonging to the Kongu belt also are dreaming to strike gold.  While Vaithiyalingam and Kamaraj depend on the support of Sasikala and Diwakaran, Velumani and Senthil Balaji pin their hope on the importance given to their community in the present cabinet.  Whispers also doing the rounds is Senthil Balaji fully enjoys the support of Sasikala’s aide Ilavarasi’s and her daughter... he strongly believes that he could be a leading contender for the hot seat. 

But Natham Viswanathan and other’s  dreams depends on the outcome of the assets case in Bengaluru which has reached its crucial stage. Till then Natham Viswanathan and others can only increase the decibel on their rhetoric… I have a dream…  to become the Chief Minister after a Coup d'├ętat.

Saturday, 26 November 2011

Next round of Musical chair !!! Cabinet reshuffle on the cards.

Secretariat is buzzing with word about an imminent cabinet re-shuffle today or tomorrow. Amma has decided to show the door to some and invite some to the cabinet.   Those who are likely to lose their job are K.T.Pachamal, Minister for Forest, Jayapal, Minister for Fisheries, Senthil Balaji, Minister for Transport, Gokula Indira, Minister for Tourism, K.V.Ramalingam, Minister for PWD, Dr.Vijay, Minister for Health and Chinnaiah, Minister for Animal Husbandry. 

Those who are likely to be inducted in the cabinet are old horse Nainar Naghendran, Salem Vekatachalam, Kuppan and Nanchil Murugesan.  Sources add that Senthamizhan who lost his ministership recently may also be given a second chance.

The MIDAS Touch 

AIADMK and the DMK...they are politically arch rivals...but when it comes to seems to unite these strange bedfellows. This is an unwritten rule in Tamil Nadu such business entity that has always flourished in Tamil Nadu is Midas Golden Distilleries Limited and people connected with it.  

Midas Golden Distilleries Limited...   This firm has now become the largest supplier of alcohol to the state run TASMAC. It's no wonder that the total share of Midas distilleries to the TASMAC has gone up to 38% after AIADMK came to everyone is aware of the powerful people behind MIDAS. One among them is Mohan, who is the all-in-all of the Midas golden present he is one of the crucial power centers in the state administration according to AIADMK insiders.   People who want to curry favours in the government rally around Midas Mohan say sources.

Whispers doing rounds in the business circles is that Midas Mohan's son Sanjay has recently acquired a contract to dispose of the scrap from Hyundai Car Manufacturers, which according to business sources is a very lucrative order.  
Curiously the contract of Sanjay is being executed along with a DMK bigwig.  Sanjay’s business partner in the scrap business is S.K.Mani who is a close confidant of Udhayanidhi Stalin, the son of DMK’s heir apparent M.K.Stalin. DMK insiders say  Mani is a very close acquaintance of Stalin’s daughter Senthamarai, son-in-law Sabarish and Stalin’s wife Durga.  He is often seen spending hours together in their household is the information in power corridors. 

Despite such close connections to the first family of the DMK...Mohan has allowed his son to enter into this lucrative business deal...this seems to have disappointed many in the AIADMK camp because Mohan is portraying an image who only advances interests of the ruling AIADMK government.  Sources in the AIADMK roughly estimate that personal assets of Mohan, who is popularly known as Midas Mohan alone would be around Rs.400 crores.

But unperturbed by tongues wagging, Mohan is carrying on with his business merrily with the active backing of ‘Chinnamma’.     Even during the DMK regime, the fortune graph of Midas Distilleries only kept rising.   With its steady growth, thanks to the DMK regime’s orders from TASMAC, Midas Distilleries has now become a formidable player in the field giving strong completion to United Breweries, Shaw Wallace, Empee Distilleries, etc.  

In fact, sources in TASMAC administration say, to popularize the brands of Midas, officials are instructed to load the retail outlets with more Midas brands.   

Thursday, 24 November 2011

Jaya’s legal 'damagers'

The legal team of Jayalalitha’s government headed by ace advocate Navaneethakrishnan seems to be leading the AIADMK government to one disaster after another.  The legal team is time and again wrapped left right and center by the Madras High Court...which has resulted in huge embarrassment for the AIADMK regime...

While Jaya’s petitions for exemption from personal appearance were being dismissed in the Supreme Court, the Madras High Court for its part continued to give jolts after jolts to Amma by stonewalling various moves by her government.

Starting with Jayalalitha’s announcement of abandoning Samachir Kalvi, which was implemented following the recommendation of a team of educationists after thorough research, Amma’s government had to bear the brunt of Judicial activism.    Even after the Madras High Court gave a detailed judgment while quashing the government’s move to abandon samachir kalvi, an obstinate Jayalalitha went to the Supreme Court against the Madras High Court’s order. But Amma managed to buy time which saw the children whiling away their valuable time without any syllabus.  Ultimately, the Supreme Court upheld the Madras High Court order...which was the first setback for Amma.

Then Amma’s next move …  Shutting down the Anna Centenary Library at Kotturpuram and starting the same inside DPI complex in the pretext of integrating it with Knowledge Park... There was widespread public outrage against Jaya’s announcement.   A furious Madras High Court was ignoring the allegations of corruption in the construction of the library, promptly stayed the move. In fact, an exasperated Chief Justice Iqbal after listening to the arguments of Navaneethakrishnan, posed a direct question "Are you the Advocate General or a party man ?"

Then came the issue of dismissal of Assistant Public Relations Officers by the Jaya government...that decision too was stayed by the court. 
Amma’s next salvo came in the form of dismissal of  14,000 Makkal Nala Paniyalargal which too was stayed by the Madras High Court.   The government’s appeal against the single judge’s order too was thrown away by a Division Bench.

In fact, Advocate General Navaneetha Krishnan quite blatantly expressed his inability on in open court during the course of arguments in connection with the Makkal Nala Paniyalargal issue.   Justice Suguna had earlier stayed the termination of 14,000 makkal nala paniyalargal by the government.    In spite of the stay order the government was adamant and refused to take back the terminated MNPs.   When this matter was brought to the notice of the court the court issued a firm warning to the government to implement its order immediately.   But the MNPs saw no relief in spite of a writ of the High Court.   When arguments in the court commenced in this regard, a visibly angered Justice Suguna posed a question to the AG “Why are you not implementing the orders in spite of it having been confirmed by a Division Bench ?”   The AG replied “I will take instructions”.   When the Justice again reminded him of the undertaking he gave when the stay orders were issued, Navaneethakrishnan replied “I am not able to follow my Lordship’s orders”.  An irritated Suguna asked him what do you mean that you are not able to follow ? An unfazed Advocate General calmly said “I am a humble and simple man my Lord”.

The advocate general had to eat humble pie when the Madras High Court stayed the TN government’s order to take back the land allotted to Muthamizh Peravai, a trust which is run by Karunanidhi’s close relatives.

Jayalalitha government which came back to power with the promise of a clean administration tried on its part to save the building norm violators in T.Nagar and filed a status report.  The court which saw through the designs of the government wrapped the government on its knuckles and a jittery government fearing court’s wrath was quick to seal the buildings just a day before the next hearing.

The building violators who are flush with money hired legal big guns to represent them and they went on appeal to the Supreme Court which returned the ball back to the Madras High Court.    Fearing a tough legal battle the government appointed Senior Counsel A.L.Somayaji to represent the state government in the CMDA matters recently.
Sources tell whispers in Tamil Nadu that Navaneethakrishnan has pulled all the strings with ‘Chinnamma’ and got this order cancelled, and a fresh order has been issued by the Chief Secretary authorizing the Advocate General to represent the State in CMDA case too.

Now Whispers doing rounds in the corridors of Madras High Court is that...If the present legal team continues to represent the Tamil Nadu government, then Amma's government should prepare itself for a bumpy ride ahead. 

Amma's deposition! Amma's Mantra!

Ignorance seems to be the ploy that was adopted by Amma during the marathon questioning on Tuesday and Wednesday in the Parappana Agrahara in Bengaluru special Court.   Jayalalitha, was advised by her counsel to plead ignorance to most of the questions posed by Special Judge Mallikarjunaiah in Bengaluru. Out of the total of 1339 questions prepared by Mallikarjunaiah for Jaya, she completed answering all the questions in a cramped atmosphere. 

As soon as Jayalalitha landed in Bengaluru in a special aircraft she was taken to the Special Court in a 22 vehicle convoy.  Bengaluru public watched in awe as Jayalalitha went to appear before the Judge to answer a  lot of uncomfortable questions for the second time.  Jayalalitha’s trip from the Airport to the Bengaluru Prison where the court was temporarily situated saw coverage by a battery of CCTV cameras and there was mounted surveillance along the route to ensure that nothing goes wrong.  The general public in Bengaluru even though they were subjected to hardship watched in awe...due to the kind of security cover provided for Jayalalitha by the Karnataka police...many Kanrataka journalists were saying it was a bit too much as the arrangements were on par with a visiting President, Prime Minister.

However, Amma was not amused or rather impressed.  Her anger was visible on both the days she appeared in the court...Jayalalitha declined the lunch offered to her by the Karnataka police and had her favourite vegetable sandwich along with her close aide Sasikala inside her official car.

Tuesday witnessed Jayalalitha being asked questions about her erstwhile foster son’s marriage.   Amma who fell foul with Sudakaran, one of the accused in the assets case was visibly irritated when questions were posed to her regarding the marriage.  

Indifferent to her irritation the Special Judge continued to bulldoze her with one question after another.   Jayalalitha was asked to explain the source of income for the expenditure incurred by her for the abandoned ‘foster son’s’ marriage. Amma chose to reply that the entire expense for the marriage was borne by the family of the bride, viz. Sivaji Ganesan.  In fact, Jayalalitha went to the extent of claiming that A R.Rahman, the music maestro performed for the marriage ‘free of cost’.   Regarding the questions on her partnership in Jaya Publications and Sasi enterprises, Jayalalitha took the stand that she is only a silent partner and not involved in any day-to-day financial transaction.   However Jayalalitha totally agreed and accepted the financial transactions of her bank accounts. 
Jayalalitha also denied knowledge about the jewels recovered in a suitcase in her house.  In fact she went to the extent to say that those suitcases were planted by the DVAC officials at her residence.

However sources in Bengaluru judicial circles say that the rebuttals of Jayalalitha at the fag end of the trial is not going to help her in anyway.  Sources also say that the statement of the music maestro A R.Rahman that he had received a sum of Rs.3 lakh rupees for performing at the foster son’s marriage is on record during his deposition.  Further statements from the Tamil Film Industry legend Shivaji Ganesan and his family members that they have not spent any money towards the marriage is also on record. 

Jayalalitha’s plea that the search warrant issued by a court is only to search in Tamil Nadu alone and they don’t have any jurisdiction over Hyederabad – DVAC officials conducted searches in Jayalalitha’s garden in Hyderabad – also doesn’t have any legal sanctity, say advocates who are closely monitoring the trial.

Soon after these questions were asked an irritated Amma gave an earful to her counsel B.Kumar.  B.Kumar is now handling the trial of the assets case.   Jayalalitha vented out her entire irritation on B.Kumar that he is incompetent and unable to complete the questioning session in one day. 
Jayalalitha, who is conscious of the media when it comes to her corruption corruption seems to be the biggest issue rocking this country had fixed November 22 as the date for appearance in Bengaluru court with an assessment that November 23 being the day of parliament session the entire coverage of the press would be on Parliament and the press would ignore Jaya’s appearance.
But alas…. !!! Amma being the queen bee her every movement attracted attention and the newspapers reported widely about her second appearance in the corruption case.  Similarly, since the Parliament has been adjourned, the focus turned on Amma.

Sources in Poes Garden say it will take some time for an irate Amma to cool off and the people who would bear Amma’s ire will obviously be the DMK people is what the buzz in power circles of Tamil Nadu. And the first victim appears to be former Law Minister Duraimurugan on whom the DVAC has registered the second assets case and commenced simultaneous raids at Duraimurugan and his relatives’ house on Thursday.

Tuesday, 22 November 2011

IAS, IPS: Many heads to roll

Many heads in the IPS and IAS are expected to roll after Amma’s return from Bengaluru.  Amma has left for Bengaluru to answer the questions in the assets case’ today.   The buzz in the Khakhi circles is that much whispered transfer orders were only a disappointment as only 5 transfers were issued.   The orders saw luck favouring Nallasivam again as he has again been made as the Joint Commissioner Intelligence for Chennai City.    Nallasivam was transferred out of JC, Intelligence post only recently.   Tirunelveli Commissioner of Police Varadarajulu who was aspiring to become JC.IS failed to please the right power centers.    But, following these transfer orders many more are to come is the whispers in the power corridors.  

Fort St George sources also say many IAS officers are also likely to be transferred and a massive search has been launched in the corridors of power. On the other hand hectic lobbying is going on at all levels for plum posts in the AIADMK regime. Many officers in Madurai have spent at least 10 lakh ruppes to get posts where they can earn double the amount. Sources say it’s a powerful lobby that is working for paid transfers and postings of lower level officers. In one such case M K Alagiri’s close confidant who was Madurai PRO has managed to pull the right strings…and has landed in Fort St George right under the nose of Chief Minister. 

Jaya TV official asked to go on leave

Sources tell whispers that K.P.Sunil, Vice President (news) in Jaya TV has been asked to go on leave.  Sunil's leave was a result of Jayalalitha's ire.   Jayalalitha who is a strong believer in astrology had fixed 3.15 pm as the exact time for the relay of her televised address regarding price hike.   But the Jaya TV people fumbled the telecast and the relay got stuck within minutes of its commencement.    The whole address had to be telecast again which started a little after 3.30 pm.    Missing the auspicious time, Jayalalitha believes that the resentment of the public is due to missing the auspicious time (!!!!).   Sources say that she vented her anger on Sunil and had asked him to go on leave, following which Sunil has proceeded on a month's leave.

DVAC team gears up for the climax

The DVAC team headed by its IG AMS Gunaseelan had left Chennai early yesterday for Bengaluru to receive Amma ahead of her visit.   The investigating officer Sambandham left by road yesterday afternoon.  Jayalalitha had answered 560 out of the 1400 questions prepared for her by the Special Judge Mallikurjaniah.    The Supreme Court had recently directed the Special Judge to finish the questioning sessions preferably within two days.   The questioning session is likely to continue tomorrow too which is making the DVAC officials nervous…as it will spoil Amma’s mood. However, Jaya is aware that today the media focus will be on Chidambaram as the BJP is up in arms against him demanding his resignation in the parliament. 

Desperate search for counsel

Kanimozhi is desperately searching for a counsel to defend her in the 2G trial say sources.   Rasathi Ammal and Kanimozhi who are not satisfied with the present counsel want some one who could effectively rescue Kanimozhi out of the mess.  But, legal brains are running for cover and are not willing to take up the case say Delhi sources.  The advocates who are well aware of the mood of the Judiciary particularly in the 2G case…is reluctant.  A senior correspondent from an English Daily who is very close to Karunanidhi and known to many TN politicians is also in the search for finding out the right advocate to bail out Kani.

Kani catches cold,Trial heats up

The winter is slowly beginning in Delhi…and for  Kanimozhi who grew up in Chennai and who is not accustomed to Delhi climate, has caught fever, severe cold and is suffering in Tihar.   Hearing about their half sister’s discomfiture MK.Alagiri and MK.Stalin rushed to Delhi to meet Kani and consoled her and conveyed their father’s message that he is making all efforts to bring her out.   The brother’s reportedly conveyed to Kani that they both have absolutely no objection to her given any prominence in the party.  (Keeping in mind that her difficulties are not going to end anytime soon) But whether the brother’s word of solace has given any comfort to Kanimozhi is doubtful given the brothers’ track record in the past. DMK sources say this visit by both the brothers is nothing but just to show that "All is well" in the family and the party. 

Sunday, 20 November 2011

Tamil Nadu Ministers : Kaun Banega 'Crorepati'

“Good governance is the sine qua non of effective administration. Corruption is the biggest hindrance to achieving the goal of good governance. As District Heads, Collectors have the onerous task of cleaning up the system and improving service delivery.” This was Jayalalitha’s speech on the inauguration of Collector’s conference in Chennai in the presence of her Cabinet Ministers.

But Jayalalitha's desire to run a corruption free government is all set to remain as a pipe dream...if whispers doing rounds in bureaucratic circles to be believed. Amma's instructions seems to have fallen on deaf ears...

Make a quick buck in a jiffy...    That’s the buzzword among the Ministers in Jayalalitha’s cabinet.   Many ministers claim that they enjoy the active support of ‘Chinnamma’ and are on a collection spree say sources in Fort St George.

Agri SS Krishnamoorthy is considered as the ‘numero uno’ among the band of bandits if the buzzword in IAS circles are to be believed. Agri Krishnamoorthy who claims to be close to ‘Chinnamma’ is the most feared upon by the officialdom.

Agri SS.Krishnamoorthy
Krishnamoorthy acts in close liaison with Anuradha, who is in charge of Jaya TV. Also a self styled ‘Joint Managing Director’ – Jana and Vice President (Administration) in Jaya TV act as point person in getting deals done. Sources say the duo are on a whirlwind tour to meet all the powerful industrialists in Chennai and other places.  

Their modus operandi is to meet the industrialists and demand amounts ranging from 2 crores to 10 crores under the guise of securing advertisements for Jaya TV.  They are promised with advertisements in group channels for concessional rates.  The industrial honchos who fail to budge would invariably invite a ‘surprise raid’ by the officials of the Commercial Tax department, which falls under the control of Agri Krishnamoorthy.

K.T.Pachamal, who is the Minister for forests is also doing everything to please Chinnamma.     Pachamal is reported to be abusing officials by calling them names.  He is reportedly to be boasting of his closeness with Chinnamma and other power centers...sources say his name tops the list of ministers who will be axed in the next Cabinet reshuffle.
V.Moorthy, who is popularly called as ‘Madhavaram Moorthy’  who was made a Minister for dairy development recently, had instructed his officials to find ways and means to make a quick buck. He claims he is close to Ravanan - another power center in the AIADMK regime. 

Ministers B.V.Ramana, Seetha Chellapandian, N.Subramani are not being giving respect to senior IAS officers and are calling them names, say Secretariat sources.   In most of the Ministers’ chambers close relatives of the Ministers occupy the room and instruct the Secretaries and other officials, who are senior IAS officers to wait outside, till the minister comes.

Senior IAS officers fume about the humiliation that they suffer on a daily basis by the Ministers and their relatives.  Insiders say officials also lament about the lack of knowledge or attitude to learn by the Ministers who only concentrate in making a quick buck.

Recently, IAS officers are perplexed with a new request of the Ministers.  Eager to make a ‘quick buck’  the Ministers insist that senior officials in their respective department are transferred out to far off places, so that they come and crawl before them with ‘handsome gifts’ to cancel their transfers.  Officials who are aware of the resentment such mass transfer would cause, are baffled with this strange request. 
The frequent transfer of officers and the frequent cabinet reshuffle also has taken its toll on the administration.  Apprehending transfers officers are reluctant to take any proactive action which has put spokes in the wheels of Jayalilatha's administration say sources in Fort St George.

In fact the bureaucrats who are privy to the collection spree of Ministers had a muffled laugh when Jayalalitha asked them to weed out corruption.  

Friday, 18 November 2011

DMK leaders to switch sides

It appears that Parithi Ilamvazhuthi is the most sought after politician nowadays.   Sources tell whispers that both the AIADMK and MDMK are coaxing Parithi to join their party.   While Vaiko is using Deputy General Secretary post as a new year offer, the ruling AIADMK is using corruption cases as a stick to woo Parithi.

Whispers had written in detail about Parithi’s discomfiture in the DMK in “Is the DMK falling apart?” in this column. However, the grand old man of Tamil Nadu politics M Karunanidhi’s attempts to bring this internal feud seems to have become futile.  M K Alagiri and senior member of the DMK Veerapandi Arumugam were pressurizing Karunanidhi to ensure that Parithi stays in the party. But an adamant M K Stalin was in no mood to relent and has reportedly put his foot down firmly. Now Parithi feeling ‘enough is enough’ is all set to jump the ship.

Whispers doing rounds is that MDMK’s general secretary Vaiko has offered the post of Deputy General Secretary to Parithi to woo him. This post fell vacant after Poet Kudiyarasu, who was MDMK’s Deputy General Secretary, passed away in the year 2002.  Vaiko feels that Parithi’s entry into the MDMK will boost the sagging morale of the party workers, after the party’s continuous debacles in all the elections. MDMK insiders say Vaiko an old friend of Parithi is personally talking to Parithi over phone and trying to convince him.

On the AIADMK’s side, one of its key leaders from Royapuram is conducting the negotiations.   Sources close to Parithi say that he has many things to loose as his activities in the last five years will definitely land him in trouble. Parithi had granted permission to 31 building ventures in April 2011, after the dates for elections were announced. Among them are Hotel Leela Ventures in Raja Annamalaipuram, Vicoans Infra Environment and Engineering Private Limited in Adyar, and Viceroy Hotels in MRC Nagar. For these three buildings the mandatory clearance from the Environment Ministry were not obtained as they come under the Costal Regulatory Zone.  However, Parithi had granted approvals for the 31 high rise buildings and also hurriedly conducted meetings when the Model Code of Conduct was in force.

Now the AIADMK is using these planning approvals given by Parithi as a threat to bring him into its fold.  But if Parithi joins the AIADMK and no action is taken against him, then Jayalalitha’s attempt to portray her government as a corruption free regime will become a joke.  Jayalalitha’s rhetoric in the recently concluded Collector & SPs conference to prevent corruption would sound hollow.  But party sources say, Parithi fearing a long jail term has made up his mind to join AIADMK and had sought appointment to meet ‘Amma’.   Sources say Amma too had given her nod to meet Parithi which may take place on anytime in the next 48 hours.

The AIADMK has also prepared to accommodate its prodigal son ‘Anitha Radhakrishnan’ in its flock.    Anitha Radhakrishnan who had quit the AIADMK and joined DMK and won as an MLA is likely to resign his post and come back to AIADMK.    Anitha Radhakrishnan, who too was threatened with land grab cases and corruption cases, has also agreed to resign his MLA post and not seek a re-election.  It is ironic that the same assets case against Anitha Radhakrishnan was used against him by the DMK government to make him switch loyalties.   

Also whispers doing rounds in the AIADMK circles is that...the party high command has prepared a list that has names of people who are sidelined and disappointed by M K Stalin's behaviour in the party and many DMK leaders are being approached to switch sides...Sources say very soon they will be knocking the doors of “Veda Nilayam”. However, a rattled DMK is gearing up to keep their flock together…Egmore party functionaries have been summoned by the DMK party high command to be present at Anna Arivaliyam on Friday morning and M K Stalin has instructed his loyalists to maintain vigil as his authority in the party is being challenged. 

Is history repeating itself for the DMK?

Thursday, 17 November 2011

Another cabinet reshuffle on the cards.

Within 10 days from the cabinet reshuffle Amma is contemplating yet another reshuffle in her Cabinet say sources in the corridors of power.  The Ministers who are likely to face the axe this time include KP.Ramalingam, Chinnaya and Pachamal... Besides cabinet reshuffle, the buzz in AIADMK circles is that another round of portfolio change is also expected. 

TN to get new home secretary.
Rameshram Mishra
The buzz in the corridors of Fort St.George is that Rameshram Mishra, IAS will be the second Home Secretary to be shunted out after Sheela Rani Chunkath. Sources say Amma is not so happy with the performance of the HS and has decided to show him the door.  Jaya was dissatisfied with the Home Secretary and her displeasure was palpable during the collector's and SP's conference. 

CM secretaries under scanner

Insiders in Fort St George say there has been several complaints against CM secretaries... 2 senior officers are now under the scanner. Sources say their activities are now being closely monitored by the intelligence. According to sources the allegation is that the secretaries are raking in the moolah in transfer and postings of senior officers and also for their close links in mines and minerals affairs. Bureaucrats and senior police officers are terrified by this deadly duo.

District Secretaries to be shuffled in AIADMK
Jaya has decided to crack the whip and replace certain district secretaries in the party.   Following the cabinet reshuffle, minor changes were effected in the party and this could be the second round of shuffle in the party. AIADMK circles say the list is being prepared keeping in mind the recent performance of party functionaries in the local body elections...insiders say Mannarkudi family is lobbying hard for their pound of flesh. 

More booze to flow

The move by the Jayalalitha’s  government to start deluxe luxurious bars to fill the treasury is seen as a desperate attempt by the government to manage the struggling treasury..  Government’s move is aimed to pull in the crowds that throng pubs and Star hotels.   Officers have been instructed to find suitable locations to start the bar in double time. TASMAC being the only cash cow, Jaya appears to be determined to milk this cow.  It appears that there is no bar for ‘Bar’ in Tamil Nadu.

Money matters : Amma’s directive

Amma has given curt instructions to officials to collect the outstanding taxes from all areas. Worried about the dwindling financial situation, Amma has cracked the whip and fearing Amma’s wrath, officials are on the move...but what if things go out of control...??

Wednesday, 16 November 2011

Assets case : Jaya's game plan

The buzz in the AIADMK circles is that Tamil Nadu Chief Minister Jaylilathaa’s defense team is fully geared up to face the climax of the assets case in Bengaluru.  The defense team led by counsel B.Kumar is finalizing strategies to rescue Amma out of the only hurdle in her path to enter national politics.  Jayalalitha is slated to appear before the Bengaluru Special Court on 22nd November.

The DVAC team too is very edgy to complete the proceedings.   During the previous two hearings, Amma answered a barrage of questions posed by the Special Judge Mallikarjunaiah.   Sources in Bengaluru say Jayalalitha put up a brave face while the questioning began.

Sources say Jayalalitha made it clear to the Judge that how this DA case is a politically motivated case.  Jaya cited DMK General Secretary K.Anbalagan’s petition in the Supreme Court based on which the trial was transferred to Bengaluru.  She said with an intention to put a full stop to her political career… K.Anbalagan, who has no locus standi had approached the Supreme Court for a transfer. 

Jayalalitha further led her attack on Nallama Naidu the Investigating Officer in her assets case.  Amma charged Naidu as a puppet of the then DMK government…so it’s clear Amma is all set to say that the investigation was unfair and politically motivated. 

This would be the strategy adopted by Jayalalitha during the stage of arguments in Bengaluru.    Further another factor in Jaya’s favour is the valuation of a property by the Income Tax department.  Sources say one of the properties belonging to Jayalalitha which was valued by DVAC to be of 6 crores was subsequently valued by the Income Tax department as 1 crore and this could be an added advantage in favour of Jayalalitha.  So properties standing in the name of Jayalalitha are diluted she would conveniently plead ignorance about the properties in the names of Sasikala, Ilavarasi and the estranged foster son, Ilavarasi.

AMS.Gunaseelan, IPS
During the last two hearings besides the Investigating Officer G.Sambandham a Deputy Superintendent of Police, two Inspectors Vijayanand and Kumarakurubaran were also present at Bengaluru.   Inspector General of Police AMS.Gunaseelan led the team along with SP TN.Venkateswaran.    Ministers from Tamil Nadu had arranged for accommodation in the PWD guest houses at Bengaluru.   While all other officers stayed in the PWD guest house, sources say G.Sambandham alone skipped the accommodation and stayed away.

Sources in legal circles say, Sambandham who is the Investigating Officer in Jaya’s asset case is contacting retired legal officers of DVAC to find out loopholes to rescue Amma from the assets case.    

Jayalalitha while inaugurating DVAC campus in 2002
Many eyebrows were raised when G.Sambandham was allowed to continue as the Investigating Officer in Jaya’s assets case even after change of government.  Sources reveal that Sambandham had all along been in touch with AIADMK advocates. He was almost like a shadow behind the back of  Nallama Naidu, who was appointed as Officer on Special Duty by the then DMK government between 2006 and 2011.

With less than a week for the next hearing in Bengaluru for Jayalalitha, the DVAC officials are on their toes to go through the agni pariksha or Amma pariksha againSources say many are seeking divine intervention for an end to these anxious moments.

Besides the DMK leader M Karunanidhi and Janata Party president Subramaniam Swamy the congress party too is closely monitoring the developments in the case against Jayalalitha.