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Will AIADMK MLAs ask Sasikala to take over as CM?

Source: PTI
February 04, 2017 15:13 IST
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The chorus for All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam general secretary Sasikala to take over as Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu is likely to gain further momentum at a meeting of the party MLAs in Chennai on Sunday.

The meeting is likely to be held in the afternoon, party sources said.

However, the sources did not commit on the agenda of the meeting and declined to confirm reports that the MLAs would urge Sasikala, who was made the general secretary following the death of Jayalalithaa, to take over as chief minister.

"It is all your imagination and guess work," a senior leader said when asked about reports of Sasikala taking over from Chief Minister O Panneerselvam.

Ever since Jayalalithaa’s death in December, there has been a clamour that Sasikala should follow the earlier practice of both the party general secretary and the chief minister’s post should be vested in the same person.

Among others, Lok Sabha Deputy Speaker M Thambidurai has backed Sasikala for the chief minister’s post.

On Friday, Sasikala had appointed senior leaders, including some former ministers and a former mayor, to key party posts.

Former ministers K A Sengottaiyan, S Gokula Indira and B V Ramana, besides ex-mayor Saidai S Duraisamy were made the AIADMK’s organisation secretaries.

The appointments also included that of Fisheries Minister D Jayakumar to a key party post.

She had also announced removal of Ambattur MLA V Alexander as the AIADMK’s MGR Youth Wing secretary. He will, however, continue as the party’s Tiruvallore (East) District Secretary, Sasikala had said in a statement.

Last month, Thambidurai had said that the leadership in both the party and governance should be with the same person, while urging Sasikala to take over as the CM.

He had cited the political tussle in Samajwadi Party in Uttar Pradesh to drive home his point that the control of government and party should vest with the same person.

Sasikala was appointed as general secretary by the AIADMK’s top decision-making body General Council on December 29. She took charge of the post on December 31, pledging to take forward the legacy of Jayalalithaa.

In December last year, four state ministers had asked Sasikala to become the chief minister, besides being the 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.

The other ministers who participated in the meeting were V M Rajalakshmi, Sevoor Ramachandran and Kadambur Raju.

Sasikala, 62, had been a close aide of Jayalalithaa for three decades and was always seen as a power centre in AIADMK.

IMAGE: AIADMK general secretary V K Sasikala pays tribute at the memorial former Tamil Nadu CM C N Annadurai, on the leaders 48th death anniversary in Chennai. Photograph: PTI Photo

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