13 June, 2021

From Substitute To Surefire

Party Face
Tamil Nadu CM Edapaddi K. Palaniswami
From Substitute To Surefire

Thumping of desks was an honour normally reserved for two AIADMK leaders—MGR and Jayalalitha—whenever they returned to the assembly as CMs. On February 18, the recipient of such ­applause happened to be Edapaddi K. Palaniswami as he completed three years as the ‘accidental’ chief minister. To use the latest cricketing analogy, EPS was the ‘concussion substitute’ who filled in when Sasikala Natarajan’s ambition to be CM was cut short by the rebellion of O. Panneerselvam (OPS) and the Supreme Court order that sent her to jail.

Like the first ‘concussion substitute’, Marcus Labuchange of Australia, EPS has proved to be a handy standby, and also a consistent performer who has progressively turned ass­ertive. He was the only one (along with Jayalalitha) to have his photo in the full-page newspaper ads on completion of his third year, emp­hasising that he is the AIADMK government’s face in the run-up to the May 2021 assembly elections.

At a cabinet meeting ahead of the milestone, EPS reportedly asked...

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