Chennai: Two months to the day that enigmatic J. Jayalalithaa passed away after suffering a cardiac arrest, V.K. Sasikala, the former’s close advisor for 30 years, was on Sunday unanimously elected as the AIADMK Legislature Party leader replacing obligatory O. Panneerselvam. Ms Sasikala is likely to take oath as CM of Tamil Nadu either on February 9.
The much-awaited meeting of the AIADMK Legislature Party that took place on Sunday afternoon decided to hand over the responsibility of Chief Minister to 61-year-old VK Sasikala, who came into contact with late Jayalalithaa in 1983. Her election brings back a long-held tradition in the party by which both the leader of the party and the government is one and the same.
Excitingly, outgoing CM O Panneerselvam, who had stood in for the late Jayalalithaa two times due to court cases and was sworn-in after her death on December 5, proposed Ms Sasikala’s name for the CM post of the state. Once sworn-in, Ms Sasikala will be the 3rd woman Chief Minister of the state after late Janaki Ramachandran and Jayalalithaa.
“I, O Panneerselvam, Tamil Nadu CM and AIADMK Treasurer, propose a resolution to elect ‘Chinamma’ (VK Sasikala) as the leader of the AIADMK Legislature Party. I propose the resolution since we all feel that the head of the party and the government should be one and the same. And I have resigned as CM,” Mr Panneerselvam told the meeting, within thunderous applause from the legislators.
As Mr O Panneerselvam, who held discussions with Ms VK Sasikala at the Poes Garden residence before the important meeting, moved the resolution which was passed unanimously. Outside the conference hall, AIADMK cadres went into celebratory mode bursting crackers and distributing sweets.