Immediately after she took over as the Legislature Party head of AIADMK, the first thing that CM-in-waiting Sasikala did was to dispel rumours that O Panneerselvam was forced to step down from his post.
“After Amma’s death, it was Panneerselvam who insisted that I take over as party general secretary. Panneerselvam was also the first person to insist that I should be Chief Minister,” said Sasikala, or Chinnamma as she is being promoted by the AIADMK cadre.
With this statement, Sasikala has tried to quash any attempts of a rebellion within the party, or any talk of a separate ‘OPS camp’, that has been doing the rounds for several weeks.
Addressing AIADMK MLAs after their announcement that she will take over as the Legislature Party chief, Sasikala said, “The AIADMK government will follow the principles of Amma. We will always work for the welfare of the people.”
On Sunday, the incumbent Chief Minister O Panneerselvam and several Cabinet Ministers met Sasikala at her residence in Poes Garden, ahead of the meeting of party MLAs. At the meeting, it was announced that Chinnamma will take over as the head of the Legislature Party, clearing the decks for her to become the Chief Minister of the state.
Rumours that Sasikala will make the move were doing the rounds ever since senior bureaucrats in the TN govt were shunted out late Friday night. As she took over on Sunday, Sasikala made a very short acceptance speech, saying, "I accept the request that all of you have made for me to be the Chief Minister."