It has been nearly 33 years since the Congress party under the leadership of Indira Gandhi made a desperate attempt to pull down the popularly-elected government of Telugu Desam Party founder-president N T Rama Rao in Andhra Pradesh and make her puppet Nadendla Bhasakara Rao as the chief minister, though the latter did not have enough numbers.
This August 1984 crisis might have faded away from the memory of Telugu people, but their counterparts in Tamil Nadu had not forgotten it. This was aptly recalled by the AIADMK faction owing allegiance to newly-elected chief minister Edappadi Palaniswamy.
“BJP is trying to play the role of the Congress which had dethroned NTR in 1984 and made Nadendla as CM, though he had no majority MLAs’ support. Here also, though Palaniswami has majority MLAs, the Governor is dilly dallying to make him as the CM under pressure from the Centre,” the Sasikala group MLAs said.
If it was the Congress party at the Centre which had tried to make its puppet Nadendla as the chief minister, it was the Bharatiya Janata Party at the Centre which made all out efforts to make its puppet O Pannerselvam as the chief minister.
The only difference is that the Indira Gandhi government could install Nadendla as chief minister at least for one month, but in the present case, the BJP government failed to keep Pannerselvam in power and had to succumb to majority opinion to make Palaniswami as the new chief minister. Then, Governor Ramlal had blindly made Nadendla as CM, but this time in Tamil Nadu, Governor Ch Vidyasagar Rao did not dare do so with Pannerselvam.
Interestingly, in both the cases, the rival groups had maintained camps with MLAs. In August 1984 crisis of Andhra Pradesh, then TDP general secretary N Chandrababu Naidu maintained the camp for NTR group MLAs at Nandi Hills in Karnataka. This time, Sasikala group MLAs were taken to the camp at Golden Bay Resorts at Kuvathur.