Chennai: Sasikala’s husband Natarajan on Wednesday claimed that he had played the role of a queen-maker in Tamil Nadu politics three decades ago, in an obvious hint that he is preparing to take up the role again.
Claiming that he was one among the group that decided to make J. Jayalalithaa as the successor to the late AIADMK founder M. G. Ramachandran when he died on December 24, 1987, Natarajan, he said at that time, they had expected her to “carry the flame of the Dravidian movement” for 25 years but she exceeded their expectations to safeguard the party for about 35 years.
“I was in the group that had gathered at MGR’s funeral to decide on the next leader. “The others in the group are in different places now. We thought Jayalalithaa has the merit to carry the flame of the movement for the next 25 years but she exceeded our expectations and safeguarded the tradition of Dravidian movement for about 35 years”, Natarajan said in an interview to News18 Tamil TV channel.
The TV interview is significant considering that Natarajan has been maintaining a low profile and stayed away from the AIADMK politics following banishment by Jayalalithaa.
With his claim that she was the queen-maker, just a day after Jayalalithaa’s demise, the master strategist is clearly staking a claim to play an important role in the post-Jaya AIADMK. He was prominent at Rajaji Hall when Jayalalithaa’s body was kept for public respect and was acknowledged by Prime Minister Modi on the condolence visit there.
Denying the suggestion that the AIADMK would now need a charismatic leader in the mould of Jayalalithaa, Natarajan said, “A party like the AIADMK with such a strong cadre base will continue forever even under the leadership of an ordinary member”.
Explaining, he said there was a strong cadre base created by MGR and Jayalalithaa, besides the magic of its two-leaves symbol. “There would be no void in the AIADMK as long as the legacy of its founder MGR and successor Jayalalithaa, besides the symbol of ‘two leaves’, remain”, said Natarajan....