Sasikala leads AIADMK, but faces a number of challenges

While the AIADMK on Thursday formally requested Sasikala to lead the party, she faces a number of challenges and her elevation is also fraught with uncertainties

Photo by R Senthil Kumar/PTI
Photo by R Senthil Kumar/PTI

NH Political Bureau

The AIADMK supporters on Thursday released a ‘welcome song’ hours after the party’s General Council adopted a resolution to induct VK Sasikala, a close confidante of late Tamil Nadu Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa, as the party’s General Secretary.

The song can be heard here.

The meeting also adopted resolutions demanding not just the Bharat Ratna for Jayalalitha but also the Ramon Magsaysay Award and the Nobel Prize for her.

Earlier in the morning, the AIADMK General Council meeting on the outskirts of Chennai witnessed the spectacle of Jayalalithaa’s chair, brought in a car to the venue, and a large photograph of the late chief minister occupying centrestage.

The customised chair for the departed leader, who suffered from arthritis and back pain, would be taken wherever she travelled in her lifetime, including the Vigyan Bhavan, Parliament and the Rashtrapati Bhavan in the national capital.

While Chief Minister O Panneerselvam and other leaders drove to Poes Garden to communicate the information to VK Sasikala, he later told the media that ‘Chinamma’ (Junior Mother) had accepted the request to lead the party.

PTI Photo
PTI Photo
VK Sasikala pays tribute to late J Jayalalithaa after she was appointed as AIADMK General Secretary through a resolution passed by the party’s General Council, at Poes Garden in Chennai on Thursday

VK Sasikala, or Sasikala Natarajan, who late Jayalalithaa said was ‘almost like a sister’ to her, however faces a Disproportionate Assets case and her inexperience of electoral and party politics have been cited as obstacles she is likely to face. Since she has not been a primary member of the party for over five years, her elevation as General Secretary is also being challenged.

The elevation also came under a cloud during the day when the Vacation Judge of Madras High Court Justice Vaidyanathan observed in court that he too personally had doubts over the circumstances of Jayalalithaa’s death. Transferring a petition seeking an inquiry into the death to a regular bench, the judge wondered why medical reports were still not being made public and why the body of the late leader could not be exhumed for inquiry.

A similar petition seeking an inquiry into the death moved by the expelled AIADMK Rajya Sabha Member Sasikala Pushpa is already pending before the Supreme Court.

With PTI inputs.

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