The ugly tussle for power between O Panneerselvam and Sasikala Natarajan for the throne of Tamil Nadu has shocked all of us. What's happening in the southern state at the moment is a complete anti-thesis to democracy. How can somebody hijack a mandate that the people had given to late J Jayalalithaa, is the common question doing the rounds. However, one must understand that what is happening in Tamil Nadu is not an aberration and the same show may be staged in many states of the Union in the days to come. That's almost a conclusion.
West Bengal: The name of the state comes to mind when one sees the story of Tamil Nadu. Like the southern state, Bengal, too, has only one leader at the moment and like Jayalalithaa, she is also a woman and without any political heir. Trends show that Mamata Banerjee, the chief minister of West Bengal, has backed her nephew, Abhishek Banerjee, as the future leader of her Trinamool Congress – the predominant political force in the state at the moment – but that certainly doesn't settle the case of succession.
Abhishek, an MP, suffered a terrible eye injury in an accident recently, which could prove to be damaging in the long run. Moreover, he is definitely not a leader of her aunt's stature and is likely to have his authority challenged by senior leaders in the party like Mukul Roy. Post Mamata, the scenario in Bengal could be haunting.
Odisha: Another state which could go Tamil Nadu's way once Naveen Patnaik is gone. The 70-year-old leader, who hardly shows any interest outside his own state, has been holding the fort for almost two decades now but is unmarried. The exit of the son of Odisha's legendary leader, Biju Patnaik, could see the ruling Biju Janata Dal fall apart for he has no identifiable political heir. It was heard in between that Naveen's nephew Arun Patnaik could be his successor but the latter himself buried all the speculation, saying he has no intention of joining politics.
Telangana: To see Telangana emerge with an identity of its own was Chief Minister K Chandrashekar Rao's dream but after that has happened, the next question is: Who after Rao or KCR, as he is popularly called? In KCR's case, however, there could be a Shiv Sena-like situation with two members from his family fighting for the legacy. On one hand, there is KCR's son KT Rama Rao while on the other, there is T Harish Rao, the chief minister and TRS chief's nephew. KCR's politician daughter Kavitha has clearly backed her brother as the heir. But will that settle the case?
Andhra Pradesh: N Chandrababu Naidu was the beneficiary of the family squabble, which had followed the death of the iconic NTR, and became one of Andhra Pradesh's best-known chief ministers. The former 'CEO' of undivided Andhra Pradesh, known for his tech-savvy governance, has plans to promote his West-educated and technology-loving son Nara Lokesh as his heir but things may not go as simply as his dissent against Lokesh's probable elevation has already surfaced in the party. How will the post-Chandrababu Andhra Pradesh look like? Well, we don't know yet, just like that next cyclone building up in the Bay of Bengal.
Jammu & Kashmir: The northern-most state has seen a replication of the dynastic rule of the Gandhis that has prevailed in Delhi, thanks to the Abdullahs who have ruled the state over three generations. But we don't know who after him? Also, in the other major party in the state – PDP — Mehbooba Mufti succeeded his father Mufti Mohammad Sayeed after his death in early 2016 and though she is still young, one will be eager to see who she appoints as her heir to run the show in the future.