Chennai: A booklet on the happenings in Tamil Nadu to be released by Tamil Nadu acting Governor Ch. Vidyasagar Rao. It will include the events from J. Jayalalithaa getting admitted in Apollo Hospital in a critical condition on September 23 to February 16, the crucial juncture in the power tussle when he invited Sasikala elect Mr E. Palanisami to form the government.
This is first time a Governor will be issuing a factsheet while in office on developments that involve his own role in change of governments in order to put the “Raj Bhavan record straight”, sources told Deccan Chronicle.
Mr Rao initially wanted to issue a communiqué on the lines of the one issued, for the first time, by President Dr K.R. Narayanan in 1998 on the events after the I.K. Gujral ministry submitted its resignation that led to the dissolution of Parliament. However, Mr Rao settled on bringing out the booklet.
Sources said the booklet would cover Jayalalithaa’s hospitalisation, reallotment of portfolios, Mr O. Panneerselvam being asked to convene Cabinet meetings, the death of Jayalalithaa, Mr Panneerselvam being made Chief Minister, his resignation, the election of V.K. Sasikala as AIADMK Legislature Party leader and her staking claim to form government.
Subsequently, the Supreme Court upheld the trial court verdict a disproportionate assets case, and Sasikala surrendered and went to prison to complete the remainder of her four-year jail term. The booklet ends with the circumstances leading to Mr Rao inviting Mr Palanisami to form government.
According to sources, the booklet will mention that Mr Rao rushed to Chennai on October 1 last year after seeing rumours on social media that Jayalalithaa had been declared dead, and there was turmoil in the political scenario.
Dr Rao went to Apollo Hospital and saw for himself that Jayalalithaa was getting treatment. He then went to Raj Bhavan and issued an official communiqué on her health.
“As the Governor had played a key role in all these happenings, he has decided to put everything on record, since he believes there are doubts being expressed by different quarters about the role of the Governor,” the source added.
It is believed that Mr Rao will mention the constitutional issues, precedents and options before him while not inviting Sasikala to form government before the Supreme Court judgement, and the advise tendered by legal pundits including Attorney-General Mukul Rohatgi suggesting a composite floor test and the Governor rejecting the idea.
This booklet forms part of the Tamil Nadu Raj Bhavan records.Rao will not have the additional responsibilities for long, sources said.