VK Sasikala, the former aide of J Jayalalithaa, may take over as chief minister of Tamil Nadu, according to several media reports. CNN-News 18 reported that the decision with regard to Sasikala's elevation would be taken at a meeting of party MLAs in Chennai on Sunday.
Sasikala was unanimously named general secretary of the party at the AIADMK’s general council meeting in Chennai on 31 December, 2016. The Times of India reported that Sasikala, on Friday, sought to quell dissent within her party and strengthen her position with senior party leaders by appointing 13 organising secretaries for the party.
The Indian Express reported that on Friday, Tamil Nadu Chief Minister O Panneerselvam removed three top officials appointed by J Jayalalithaa from the chief minister's office. According to a report in The News Minute, a source close to one of the officers said that Panneerselvam was acting under instructions from Poes Garden.
Blamed once for Jayalalithaa's disastrous election loss in 1996, the 60-year-old Sasikala, who was a video library owner before getting close to the late leader, was always considered having a clout in the running of the party.
Having accompanied Jayalalithaa to prison when arrested in a disproportionate assets case, Sasikala's roller-coaster career saw her being expelled for anti-party activities only to be restored in a few months five years ago.
Jayalalithaa's demise on 5 December was seen as a personal loss for Sasikala who was a permanent resident of Jayalalithaa's house Veda Nilayam in Poes Garden, even choosing to stay away from her husband.
Sasikala continued to be by Jayalalithaa's side when she was hospitalised on 22 September that stoked some controversies, including that access to the ailing leader was not being allowed even to her kin. Sasikala belongs to the dominant Thevar community which also is said to have played a major role in Panneerselvam, who is also from the same community, becoming the stop-gap chief minister whenever Jayalalithaa had to step down and even after her death.
With inputs from agencies
Published Date: Feb 04, 2017 01:02 pm | Updated Date: Feb 04, 2017 01:02 pm