The Asian Age – Sasikala Natarajan to take over as Tamil Nadu Chief Minister

Once sworn in, Sasikala will be the third woman CM of the state after Janaki Ramachandran and J. Jayalalithaa

S Thirunavukarasu

Chennai, 6 February 2017. Two months to the day that charismatic J. Jayalalithaa passed away after suffering a cardiac arrest, V K Sasikala, the former’s close aide for 30 years, was on Sunday unanimously elected AIADMK legislature party leader, replacing incumbent O. Panneerselvam.

Ms Sasikala is likely to take the oath as chief minister of Tamil Nadu on February 9.

The much-awaited meeting of the AIADMK legislature party resolved to hand over the CM’s mantle to 61-year-old Sasikala, who came into contact with the late Jayalalithaa in 1983.

Her election brings back a long-held tradition in the party by which both a single person leads both the party and the government.

Interestingly, outgoing chief minister O. Panneerselvam, who had stood in for the late Jayalalithaa twice due to court cases and was sworn in after her death on December 5, proposed Ms Sasikala’s name for the top post in the state.

Once sworn in, Ms Sasikala will be the third woman CM of the state after Janaki Ramachandran and J. Jayalalithaa.

“I, O. Panneerselvam, Tamil Nadu CM and AIADMK treasurer, propose a resolution to elect ‘Chinamma’ as leader of the AIADMK legislature party. I propose the resolution since we all feel that the head of the party and the government should be one and the same. And I have resigned as chief minister,” he told the meeting, amid thunderous applause from the legislators.

As Mr Panneerselvam, who held discussions with Ms Sasikala at the Poes Garden residence before the crucial meeting, moved the resolution which was passed unanimously, AIADMK cadres outside hall the went into celebratory mode, bursting crackers and distributing sweets. Ms Sasikala later said it was “my dear brother” Panneerselvam who had first proposed that “I should take over as the CM and party supremo”.

“The AIADMK government will follow the principles of Amma. We will always work for the welfare of the people,” she said.

“I was not in a position to accept the request (by OPS) and I agreed to take over as party supremo only after repeated requests from the partymen. Every partyman who met me during the last two months insisted that I should take over as the CM. Left with no option, I decided to heed to the request,” she said.


The Hindustan Times – Posters hailing Sasikala, Jaya’s niece appear all over TN

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.

Published in: on December 17, 2016 at 7:23 am  Leave a Comment  
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