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Published On: Mon, Jan 2nd, 2017

‘Chinnamma’ Sasikala As Chief Minister Begins In Party

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thjvn_sasikalaCHENNAI: Deputy Speaker of Lok SabhaThambidurai’s statement on Monday joins the chorus of several other party functionaries, who have openly declared their support for Ms. Sasikala to become the Chief Minister.
Two days after V.K. Sasikala took over as the AIADMK General Secretary, senior party leader and Thambidurai “appealed” to her to take charge as Tamil Nadu Chief Minister, as he contended that leadership of the party and government should be with the same person for the welfare of the people.
“The unfinished tasks of the party and the government, as expected byAmma will be completed only when the leadership of the party and the leadership of the government are in the hand of one person,” Mr. Thambidurai, also party’s propaganda secretary, said in a release.
Claiming that people in the country have “not accepted” the situation where the leadership of the party and the government was not with the same person, he said the government has focused its attention and fulfilled the election promises, when the same person was both the head of the party as well as the government.

“History has shown that some governments had been pushed to several hurdles and were incapable of delivering its promises and that, such Governments have lost their credibility among the people, when the leadership of the party and the leadership of the government was in the hands of two different persons,” Mr. Thambidurai pointed out.

In view of the Parliamentary elections due in two years, AIADMK had to function effectively to get the wholehearted support of the people, it was imperative for Ms. Sasikala to “immediately take over” the leadership of the government, as the Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu, he said.
Ms. Sasikala had the “intelligence, capacity and love for the people, love for the party workers and care for the party cadres”, as party’s former chief Jayalalithaa and it was his “strong belief” that the AIADMK general secretary has to shoulder the responsibility of the Chief Minister to take forward the party and to carry on the governance of the State.
Referring to Ms. Sasikala’s maiden speech on Saturday last as the party’s general secretary, Mr. Thambi Durai said it had “melted the hearts of all” and the points she had raised in her address have made them “feel happy that the task of taking forward the Party has been handed over to the right person.”

He further registered the “unshakeable faith and confidence” that the leadership of Ms. Sasikala alone would continue to implement several welfare schemes for Tamil Nadu.

After Jayalalithaa’s death, loyalist Paneerselvam made Chief Minister. Sasikala Natarajan, appointed chief of Tamil Nadu’s ruling party over the weekend, must now become of the head of government, a top leader from the AIADMK said today.

M. Thambidurai , who is a member of the Lok Sabha, reasoned that it’s unwise for the party and government to have separate power centres. “Governments have lost their credibility among the people, when the leadership of the party and the leadership of the government was in the hands of two different persons,” he said.

He also said that with the general election just two years away, it’s imperative for the AIADMK to ensure it delivers on the promises of J Jayalalithaa, who died as Chief Minister last month. With 37 members of parliament, the party is an important player, especially in the Rajya Sabha where the government is in a minority.

Sasikala , 62, was Jayalalithaa’s closest aide and kept vigil during the politician’s long hospital stay that began in September. At her funeral in December, Ms Natarajan carried out the last rites for the 68-year-old referred to by supporters as “Amma.”

After her death, Jayalalithaa was replaced as Chief Minister by O Panneerselvam, 65, who had stood in for her twice earlier when she was arrested on charges of corruption. Known for carrying a photo of Jayalalithaa in his pocket every day, Mr Panneerselvam has not commented so far on today’s call for him to step down for Ms Natarajan, dubbed “Chinnamma” or mother’s younger sister.

Ms Natarajan, according to party sources, orchestrated the oath-taking of Mr Panneerselvam as Chief Minister just hours after Jayalalithaa died, with critics suggesting that she wanted to control the transfer or power to ensure the AIADMK remained united with a central role for her.
Recently, Revenue Minister Udayakumar launched the campaign asking for Sasikala Natarajan to become Chief Minister. Denying an unsubtle revolt against Mr Panneerselvam, he said “Mr Panneerselvam is a symbol of loyalty in the party and he was the first person to ask Chinnamma to become Chief Minister”.

Sasikala Natarajan’s biggest asset is the 33-year-long friendship that Jayalalithaa flaunted, except for a brief falling out in 2011. She’s also a member of the powerful and rich Thevar community. But because of that short-lived estrangement, which saw her being expelled and then readmitted to the AIADMK, she doesn’t yet have the five-year uninterrupted party membership that’s a must-have for the AIADMK’S office-bearers.
Another drawback is the fact that the Supreme Court is yet to decide on whether she is guilty of corruption in a case where she was named along with Jayalalithaa.

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