Sasikala’s rise to fame in Tamil Nadu politics owes less to her leadership qualities and more to the enigmatic and yet firm relationship she shared with former CM and AIADMK supremo J Jayalalithaa.
And now that she has been elected as the new head of the party, sources said she will undertake a state wide tour of Tamil Nadu to meet people and party workers and to get their support.
An extraordinary general council meeting of the AIADMK on Thursday deviated from its tradition of electing the party general secretary and instead resolved to appoint Sasikala to the post that fell vacant with the death of Jayalalithaa on December 5.
Chief minister O Panneerselvam said Sasikala had accepted the council’s resolution.
“We had met honourable Chinnamma at the place of residence of our late Amma, and handed over the general council resolution appointing her unanimously as the general secretary of the AIADMK with a request that she accept the resolution and take up the post. Chinnamma has wholeheartedly accepted,” Panneerselvam told reporters at Poes Garden after meeting Sasikala.
On January 2, the 54-year-old will formally take over as AIADMK general secretary, a post held by Jayalalithaa till she died on December 5.
On cue, the Jayalalithaa banner outside the party office was replaced by one showing the former Chief Minister presenting flowers to Sasikala Natarajan. Slogans of “Long live Chinamma” were shouted.