Will Sasikala take over as AIADMK general secretary?

Some AIADMK leaders say Sasikala also has ambitions to be part of government.
Will Sasikala take over as AIADMK general secretary?
Will Sasikala take over as AIADMK general secretary?
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Hours after Apollo Hospital in Chennai announced that late Chief Minister Jayalalithaa had suffered a cardiac arrest on Sunday, the political wheels were already turning in the AIADMK. The smooth transition of power to loyalist O Panneerselvam late on Monday night, even as news of CM and party supremo Jayalalithaa’s demise was broken to the rest of the world, was proof that the post-Amma AIADMK was being tightly managed and controlled. The party had also learnt its lessons after MGR’s death when the AIADMK was split between the two factions – Janaki and Jayalalithaa.

The News Minute had learnt that when party MLAs had been called to the hospital on Monday afternoon, three names had emerged from their discussions – O Panneerselvam, Edapadi Palanisamy and Sasikala. While OPS, who has served as CM on two occasions in Jayalalithaa’s absence emerged the front runner and successor, PWD Minister Edapadi Palanisamy, was Sasikala’s choice. However it was unclear if Edapadi's name was being proposed for Deputy Chief Minister. 

On her part, Jayalalithaa’s trusted aide is expected to take over the post of general secretary.

"She needs to be in power or the party leaders won't listen to them. For the centre too, it is important that the AIADMK stays together, their help in Rajya Sabha is crucial. So all these factors put together, it is vital for Sasikala to be made party chief," said a source close to AIADMK leadership.

Some party leaders, however, believe that Sasikala may not take over the reins of the party immediately. "We think Sasikala also has ambitions to be part of government. One reason for that is also the DA case in court. The charges against Jayalalithaa will be abated, but the case against Sasikala stands," a source told TNM.

In December 19, 2011, Jayalalithaa had expelled Sasikala from the AIADMK’s executive council along with 13 of her close relatives. She was, however, back months later after a public written apology. In her letter that was released to the press, Sasikala stated, “For 24 years, I have been living under the same roof.  I have no ambitions either in the party or in the government. I have always devoted my life to 'akka' and the rest of my life will be to serve her.”

Jayalalithaa has occupied the post of general secretary for 27 years. In her absence, it appears party persons may favour her aide taking over as AIADMK chief.

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