File photo. Photograph:( AFP )
Instituting a veiled attack on the leadership of All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (AIADMK), Bharatiya Janata Party leader and Rajya Sabha MP Subramaniam Swamy on Sunday said it would be awkward if AIADMK general secretary VK Sasikala goes on to become the chief minister of Tamil Nadu, citing her involvement in the disproportionate assets case.
"There was no bar to Sasikala becoming the chief minister but, the practical questions are there. There's my case in the Supreme Court regarding the disproportionate assets. She's also party to it. She is also one of the accused. So, it will be awkward if she becomes the chief minister," he told ANI.
"Moreover, before she fights by-elections, the Supreme Court judgement will come. So, going by the reports that she is not going to stake a claim to become the chief minister, I think, it's a wise move. This is because as it is she is a very powerful person as far as the general secretary-ship of the party is concerned," he added.
Earlier, a meeting of party MLAs to be chaired by Sasikala on Sunday triggered speculations that she was set to replace chief minister O Panneerselvam as the leader of the party. Senior leaders of the AIADMK, however, dismissed rumours of any imminent change in the party leadership and said the meeting was to facilitate better communication between the MLAs and the government.
Swamy also attacked chief economic advisor (CEA) Arvind Subramanian for presenting a survey that showed that Indian economy is in a bad shape, which he begs to differ with.
"They are still depending on the National Sample Survey for estimates. The economic survey has painted a very gloomy picture. I have made a strong objection against Aravind Subramaniam taking out such a report because the picture is not as gloomy as the Economic Survey is making it out to be," Swamy told ANI.
The senior leader also commented on the Chennai oil spill that has been plaguing the state for days now. "It's a shocking thing as the initial statement was that there was no oil spill. And it is huge. So, there are matters that need to be explained. How did the accident happen? Was it negligence? What should be done that it doesn't happen again?" he said.
Two vessels namely, MT BW MAPLE and MT DAWN KANCHIPURAM, while crossing each other collided on January 28 outside the Kamrajar harbour along the Chennai-Ennore coastline. The Oil Tanker, MT DAWN KANCHIPURAM, which was carrying 32813 Tonnes of POL, suffered a rupture which led to engine oil spill.
A massive clean-up operation was launched in Tiruvallur, Chennai and Kancheepuram Districts by engaging more than 2,000 persons at various sites including Ernavur, Chennai Fishing Harbour, Marine Beach, Besant Nagar, Kottivakkam, Palavakkam, Neelankarai and Injambakkam beaches.