Northern Province Chief Minister C.V.Wigneswaran is likely to be removed from office soon by the Ilankai Thamil Arasuk Katchi(ITAK) which fielded him as the chief ministerial candidate of the political formation known as the Tamil National Alliance(TNA) in September 2013.
It is learnt that the ITAK is seriously contemplating the removal of Wigneswaran as chief minister in the context of the current corruption scandal that has rocked the Northern province
The “Kaalaikkathir” newspaper published in Jaffna reported yesterday that ITAK president Somasuntharam Senathirajah alias “Mavai” Senathirajah had directly warned Wigneswaran that several Northern provincial councillors belonging to the ITAK have demanded that Wigneswaran be removed from office and cautioned the chief minister that the party may have to give serious consideration to the possibility if Wigneswaran persisted with his anti-ITAK activity despite being elected to office from that party.
The provincial administration run by Wigneswaran has been facing many charges and allegations of corruption from the public at large and from opposition members of the council. In a bid to blunt the thrust of criticism, Wigneswaran appointed a three -member commission of inquiry unilaterally to probe charges of corruption against his board of ministers.
The commission of inquiry after probing the corruption allegations found two of the four provincial ministers guilty of some of the charges. The commission recommended that the ministers be along with their respective secretaries be removed from office and penalised. The inquiry also exonerated the other tro ministers probed saying there was insufficient evidence to prove the charges.
After receiving the inquiry commission report the chief minister “Sat” on it silently without taking any follow up action. However the opposition leader in the council S. Thavaraja got hold of the report and released it to the media. The excreta collided with the oscillator!!
One of the provincial ministers found guilty of corruption, Education minister T. Gurukularasa has voluntarily tendered his resignation. The other minister found guilty “P. Aingaranesan refused to quit and instread found fault with the inquiry. This placed Wigneswaran in an unenviable situation as he and Aingaranesan were “thick as thieves” enjoying a very close relationship. Aingaranesan was virtually the defacto chief minister with his finger in almost every pie. Moreover Wigneswaran had defended Aingatranesan publicly many times. This led to many people being critical of Wigneswaran
Wigneswaran therefore tried to cushion the impact of Aingaranesan being guilty of corruption charges by trying to remove all four ministers instead of the two found guilty alone. He communicated with councillors belonging to the EPRLF, TELO, PLOTE and a renegade member of the ITAK and got them to demand the removal of all four ministers. This included ministers Sathiyalingam and Deneeswaran who had been cleared of corruption charges.
Wigneswaran was in talks with PLOTE leader Siddharthan, EPRLF leader Premachandran and TELO leader Adaikkalanathan on this matter but did not communicate with ITAK leader Senathirajah or overall TNA Leader Sampanthan.
Wigneswaran had earlier incurred the wrath of most ITAK membetrs when he supported the rival TNPF/ACTC at the 2015 parliamentary polls instead of the ITAK/TNA. Though there was pressure to remove Wigneswaran the chief minister was “Saved” by TNA Leader Sampanthan who advised party members to refrain from removing Wigneswaran despite his political double dealing.
Against this backdrop the ITAK component of the TNA in general and from within the NPC in particular are clamouring for Wigneswaran’s removal. They are angry over Wigneswaran’s attempt to conspire with non _ITAK party members and remove all four provincial ministers including those absolved of charges instead of removig the two guilty ministers including his blue -eyed boy Aingaranesan.
The TNA holds 30 of 38 seats in the NPC. Of these the ITAK has 15 and the other three parties 15. However some members of the non -ITAK parties may also support the move to remove Wigneswaran if the prospects for obtaining ministerial portfolios appear bright.
Wigneswaran had earlier planned to hold a special meeting of the NPC on June 14th and debate the corruption charges. Thereafter he had wanted to announce the removal of all four ministers at the 14th NPC Meeting.
However ITAK president and Jaffna district MP Senathirajah has informed Wigneswaran that he should not go ahead with his plan of removing all four ministers with the support of non _ITAK elements. Senathirajah has warned Wigneswaran that if he wanted to remove all four provincial ministers then he as chief minister should also take moral responsib ility and resign. If he removed his ministers without resigning then the ITAK as a party would take necessary steps to remove him
The ball is now in Wigneswaran’s court!