It seems like the stage is set for Sasikala to succeed Jayalalitha and take charge of AIADMK.
On Sunday, the official Twitter handle of AIADMK referred to Sasikala as 'Chinnamma' (junior Amma) in official releases. Moreover, the party also tweeted out pictures of 'Thirumathi Sasikala' with other office-bearers. Meanwhile, scores of party functionaries, including MLAs, MPs and former lawmakers continued to meet Sasikala at Jayalalithaa's Poes Garden residence, and urged her to take over the leadership of AIADMK. Posters and banners also came up in different parts of the state asking her to lead the party.
AIADMK Party functionaries today urged Thirumathi.Sasikala to lead the party on the path shown by Puratchi Thalaivi Amma. pic.twitter.com/eOLf4Ufnz6— AIADMK (@AIADMKOfficial) December 11, 2016
Senior functionaries of AIADMK urge Thirumathi Sasikala to lead the party on the path shown by Puratchi Thalaivi Amma.— AIADMK (@AIADMKOfficial) December 10, 2016
Tamil Nadu Chief Minister O Panneerselvam has eagerly backed Sasikala for the leadership of AIADMK.
"There is no second opinion on the issue. If anyone has second thoughts, they are not true AIADMK workers," Jaya Plus Tamil TV channel reported Panneerselvam as saying. He said Sasikala shared Jayalalithaa's grief, she lived with her as her trusted aide and was like a sister. She imbibed the thoughts and working style of Jayalalithaa by being with her for over 30 years. She lived like Jayalalithaa's shadow "till Amma's death," he said. "Like Amma, Chinnamma (as Sasikala is referred to by party workers) knows each and every party worker. To ensure continuance of the party's functioning with the same level of discipline one can find in the army, brought about by Amma, the only way out in the present situation is for Chinnamma to become the general secretary and lead the party," he said.
Sasikala, 60 has been a close aide of Jayalalitha for three decades and is viewed as a power centre in the party.
(With inputs from PTI)
(Feature image source: PTI)