Jayalalithaa's aide Sasikala all set to become AIADMK general secretary

Sasikala alone is capable of leading the party, they asserted during an emotional meeting at Jayalalithaa's Poes Garden bungalow.

Chennai: Jayalalithaa’s longtime aide Sasikala Natarajan is all set to head the AIADMK with several party seniors and ministers pleading with her that she should become the general secretary, the post held by the late Chief Minister. She alone is capable of leading the party, they asserted during an emotional meeting at Jayalalithaa’s Poes Garden bungalow.

“After Amma it is only Chinnamma. Chinnamma follows Amma’s footsteps,” said Lok Sabha Deputy Speaker M. Thambidurai, whose name was doing the rounds for the post of general secretary if not the Chief Minister. He said as one who had been with Amma for over three decades, Chinnamma knew best how to run the party. “We told her we are with her and she must accept our prayer as the future of the party and the welfare of the people are in her hands”, he said.

“This is a people’s party. It was Puratchi Thalaivi Amma who functioned understanding the people’s pulse. Chinnamma follows Amma’s footsteps. And so, leaving no scope for a void, Chinnamma should immediately assume the position of party general secretary,” he said, adding he was confident she would accept the request.

Emerging from the emotional meeting with Sasikala along with several of his party seniors, AIADMK presidium chairman E. Madhusudanan said, “Chinnamma was with Amma for 34 years. She sacrificed her life for Amma and was with her through all the ups and downs of our party. She alone can lead us now”.

Jaya TV owned by the Sasikala family had interviews of many state ministers and party seniors, including forest minister Dindigul Srinivasan, electricity minister P. Thangamani and former minister K.A. Sengottaiyan (whose name too was doing the rounds as a potential general secretary candidate), arguing vociferously that there was no alternative to Sasikala to lead the party after Amma. The leaders said Sasikala should quickly assume charge of the party so as to scotch the rumours of leadership struggle and also to boost the morale of the cadres who have been shattered by Amma's demise.

Former Chennai Mayor Saidai Duraisamy was also in the group of seniors that called on Sasikala to urge her to take up the post of general secretary. “Chinnamma has always been the pivot of the party. She alone knew what Amma had in her mind and so only she can now protect our party”, said the ex-mayor.
“Chinnamma has been loyal to Amma for 34 years and by protecting Amma, she also contributed to the well-being of the party. Besides, she has seen and experienced from close quarters how Amma had dealt with various situations and different people over the period”, said former legislator V.P. Kalairajan, secretary of the party's south Chennai (north) unit.

There were several rumours doing the rounds after Jayalalithaa's demise late Monday night, insisting that Sasikala was keen on capturing the party and becoming the CM as well. There were also some names, of prominent party seniors, popping up as potential CM /general secretary candidates-such as Thambidurai, Sengottaiyan and Edapadi Palaniswami. It goes to Sasikala's credit that within four days of Jayalalithaa's demise, she could draw from her deep knowledge of the AIADMK politics and hammer out a near-consensus among the party seniors to make a beeline to plead with her to lead them.

( Source : Deccan Chronicle. )
Next Story