Panneerselvam can call for all files, says former bureaucrat

Chennai, Feb 10 (IANS) Tamil Nadu’s acting Chief Minister O. Panneerselvam continues to enjoy the same powers as a full time Chief Minister and can call files of other ministers and also close down liquor shops in compliance of court orders, said a retired IAS officer.

“Panneerselvam can attend office till a new government is sworn in. He continues to have the same powers as before but he cannot take policy decisions,” former IAS officer and social activist M.G. Devasahayam told IANS.

Queried about Panneerselvam’s cabinet ministers being opposed to him politically, Devasahayam said as the head of the government Paneerselvam can call for the files related to other departments and sign them.

“The only restriction on Panneerselvam is that he cannot take a policy decision,” Devasahayam said.

Asked whether Panneerselvam can pass orders to close down liquor shops, Devasahayam said: “The Supreme Court has ordered closure of liquor shops on the highways. In order to comply with the court order he can order closure of liquor shops.”

Panneerselvam resigned as Chief Minister last week to pave the way for AIADMK General Secretary V.K. Sasikala to occupy that post.

However, two days later he raised the banner of revolt and alleged that he was compelled to resign as Chief Minister by Sasikala.

The two are now locked in a bitter political battle, with Sasikala holding the upper hand as she has the backing of most party MLAs at present.