Over a month after she took charge as AIADMK General Secretary following Jayalalithaa’s demise, V K Sasikala was today elected legislature party leader, paving the way for her to become the Tamil Nadu Chief Minister.
Tamil Nadu: Elected as Legislative party leader of AIADMK, Sasikala Natarajan chairs MLAs meet at AIADMK HQ in Chennai pic.twitter.com/RTWyGQbvAe— ANI (@ANI_news) February 5, 2017
Tamil Nadu: Sasikala Natarajan reaches AIADMK HQ in Chennai, she is all set to be Tamil Nadu CM says AIADMK pic.twitter.com/N0pbXHzRG8— ANI (@ANI_news) February 5, 2017
At a meeting of party MLAs here, Chief Minister O Panneerselvam proposed the name of Sasikala as legislature party leader and also tendered his resignation
62-year-old Sasikala, also called ‘Chinnamma’ and Jayalaithaa’s shadow in public for nearly three decades, later drove to the party headquarters where she was greeted by Panneerselvam and senior party leaders.
Hon CM resigns.Thanks for all your support. Chinnamma will lead TamilNadu on the path shown by Puratchithalaivi Amma. pic.twitter.com/4Ruq5iCA1M— V.K. Sasikala (@CMOTamilNadu) February 5, 2017
With her elevation, which comes over a month after she took charge as AIADMK general secretary on December 31, Sasikala carries on the legacy of Jayalalithaa, who also held the two posts allowing her to wield complete control on the government and the party.
Prior to the meeting, Panneerselvam had arrived at the Poes Garden Residence to meet Sasikala. After being elected legislature party leader, Sasikala said the AIADMK would strive for the welfare of the people of Tamil Nadu.
Respected Chinnamma assures that the Tamil Nadu Government will always work towards the welfare of the people.— AIADMK (@AIADMKOfficial) February 5, 2017
When Jayalalithaa was at the helm, Sasikala was considered to yield a huge clout behind the scenes. After taking charge of the party, she had pledged to take forward the legacy of the former chief minister.
Ever since Jayalalithaa’s death, there has been a clamour that Sasikala should follow the earlier practice of both the party general secretary and the chief minister’s post being vested with the same person.
Senior party leader and Lok Sabha Deputy Speaker M Thambidurai is among those who have backed Sasikala for the Chief Minister’s post. In December last year, four state ministers had asked Sasikala to become the Chief Minister, besides AIADMK General Secretary.
A resolution to this effect was passed at a meeting of Tirunelveli Urban Jaya Peravai (Forum), led by state AIADMK secretary and revenue minister R B Udhayakumar on December 17.