All India Anna Dravida Munnettra Kazhagam spokesperson C Ponnaiyan said on December 15, “It is the desire of the party that Chinamma (a sobriquet given to Sasikala by party leaders) take over as the next general secretary. The party will formally meet to elect her,” he added, refusing to give a date.
After Jayalalithaa’s death on December 5, Sasikala has been the top contender for the position, with all AIADMK MPs proposing her as the party chief.
Party functionaries from various districts called on Sasikala at Poes Garden and urged her to guide the party at this “critical juncture (Amma passing away) on December 14.
Senior party leaders such as Chief Minister O Panneerselvam and Lok Sabha Deputy Speaker M Thambidurai had given verbal support to Sasikala’s elevation to the top post.
Though Sasikala holds no post in the party, she holds considerable sway over government machinery. Files were routed through her, and bureaucrats and police chiefs were comfortable dealing with her rather than Jayalalithaa.
Sasikala has a tough task ahead of—handling the disproportionate assets case on her own now. She also has to begin working on finding larger political acceptance, not just among party cadre but the public too.