Cheni, Dec 29: V.K. Sasikala, a close aide of the late Chief Minister and AIADMK supremo J. Jayalalithaa, has agreed to head the party, Tamil du Chief Minister O. Panneerselvam said on Thursday. Disclosing this to the media, Panneerselvam said that Sasikala would soon formally assume charge as the party’s General Secretary. Earlier in the day, the ruling AIADMK passed a resolution that Sasikala was the only person fit to become the General Secretary. There was no other contestant for the AIADMK’s top post. The party’s General Council passed the resolution at its meeting here in the morning.
According to the party constitution, a General Secretary has to be elected by the basic members in Tamil du and the office-bearers of party wings in Puducherry, New Delhi, Andhra Pradesh, Kartaka, Kerala, Maharashtra and Andaman.
Till such time a person is elected by the various wings, the General Council has unimously decided that Sasikala is the fit person to become General Secretary. There should be a General Secretary to chalk out the party’s policies, authorise the party treasurer to handle the accounts and other activities, the party said, adding it would work under her leadership.
Chief Minister Panneerselvam and other leaders attended the meeting. The council also passed a resolution condoling the death of Jayalalithaa and several other resolutions.
Later, Panneerselvam took a copy of the General Council resolution to Sasikala, who is residing at Jayalalithaa’s residence in Poes Garden here. Clad in green colour saree - the favourite colour of Jayalalithaa, Sasikala received the resolution, kept it before Jayalalithaa’s picture and bowed to it.
Soon after Jayalalithaa’s death, various leaders and party wings urged Sasikala to take charge of the party, though it was said leaders of other castes would not agree to have two persons from the Thevar caste - Pannerselvam and Sasikala - occupy the two top positions.
However, no such conflict erupted in the party. Some party leaders had also urged Sasikala to contest from R.K. gar constituency and become the Chief Minister. There were some dissent against Sasikala with noted persolities like actor Andraj and Karate master Shihan Hussaini quitting the party in protest against her elevation. Party’s suspended Rajya Sabha MP Sasikala Pushpa had earlier said she would contest for the General Secretary post. However her husband and other supporters were assaulted here on Wednesday outside the party headquarters. It was said they had come to get the form to contest for the party’s top post.
Pushpa was sacked from AIADMK’s primary membership by Jayalalithaa. The former did not resign her Rajya Sabha membership. However there was no major opposition threatening Sasikala’s accession.
Sasikala will now lead AIADMK, the second largest opposition party in the Lok Sabha with 37 members. The party also has 13 members in Rajya Sabha.
However the one serious threat that is hanging over Sasikala’s head is the pending Supreme Court judgement in the disproportiote assets case, in which Jayalalithaa were convicted by a Bengaluru trial court but acquitted by the Kartaka High Court. The Kartaka government appealed in the Supreme Court. (IANS)