Madurai, 17 December 2016. Amid a growing chorus supporting Sasikala, former Chief Minister Jayalalithaa’ aide, to take over the mantle of AIADMK, while some pitching for the departed leader’s niece Deepa, posters have appeared all over Tamil Nadu in support of these two.
The posters supporting Sasikala describe her as “Chinnaamma”, as she is called by party workers, and request her to take up the leadership of AIADMK and guide the party.
Those supporting Deepa describe her as “Kulavilakku” (guiding lamp of Tamilians) and “Aala Pirandavale” (born to rule) as Jayalalithaa was known among party cadres.
The posters supporting Jayalalithaa’s niece came up soon after she gave an interview to a TV channel stating that she was not averse to enter politics if people so desired.
She had also alleged that she was not allowed to meet her aunt Jayalalithaa either at the latter’s Poes Garden residence or at Apollo Hospital, where the former CM was admitted on September 22.
In Tiruchirapalli, AIADMK district functionaries had organised an indefinite fast, demanding that Sasikala take over the party.
After the demise of Jayalalithaa on December 5, top party leaders, including party presidium chairman E Madusudanan, party treasurer and Chief Minister O Panneerselvam, and Lok Sabha Deputy Speaker M Thambidurai had urged her take on the top post of party General Secretary and lead the party.
Sasikala, 60, had been a close aide of Jayalalithaa for three decades and was always seen as a power centre in AIADMK.
State ministers had also expressed support to Sasikala in interviews to Jaya TV, a pro AIADMK Tamil TV channel, and had urged her to lead AIADMK and scotch “rumours” at this critical juncture.
On December 14, party functionaries from six districts had called on Sasikala and urged her to guide AIADMK.