- BY K.V. VENUGOPAL 04-01-2017
Contrary to expectations, V.K.Sashikala was appointed as General Secretary of the AIADMK in a unanimous resolution passed in the party’s General Council Meeting held in Chennai. Much before the crucial meeting, it was felt in the political circle that there will be storm and fisticuffs when the party MLA Ananda Raj, tendered his resignation stating that he will not accept Sashikala as a substitute for her late Amma(Jayalalithaa). Similar views were echoed by some other members. A former party MLA Soundararajan was allegedly threatened by the Sashikala camp with dire consequences, if he goes against the wishes of Chinna Amma (Sashikala) and her coterie.
Speculation has gained ground that there will be a stiff opposition for Sashikala, when a section of AIADMK members started promoting Jayalalithaa’s niece Deepa to carry the mantle on her shoulder. A few posters appeared in Villupuram district of Tami Nadu, projecting her as the future Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu with stiff opposition to Sashikala.
Sources in the political circle assert that Sashikala group had played their card well and invited only the members who were close to Chinna and saw to it that the people opposing her did not gain entry into the hall, where the meeting was held. Interestingly, the Chief Minister O. Panneerselvam too, congratulated Shashikala, despite knowing that a large number of followers of Jayalalithaa are ready to back him, if any attempt is being made to remove him.
Informed sources also reveal that the Prime Minister Narendra Modi is observing the poolitical situation in Tamil Nadu closely and accordingly advised her party members in the state to brief him about political developments in the state. It is also learnt that if Sashikala becomes too anxious to provide over the destiny of Tamil Nadu, the Prime Minister will not hesitate to open up the cases against her as quickly as possible. Mr Modi has also proved beyond doubt that he is ready to spring surprises. For instance, the recent raid against the then Chief Secretary Rama Mohana Rao, has shocked the political pundits. Similar action against Sashikala and her men are not ruled out, if she attempts to bypass and rule the state by hook or crook.
Mr Panneerselvam, for the time being, is assured of protection from the BJP-led NDA government at the Centre. But, it remains to be seen how long, as the Saffron party too feels that this is the right time for them to make an inroad in Tamil Nadu politics.
The resolution however, stated that Sashikala will be elected formally as the General Secretary of the AIADMK shortly in keeping with stipulations of the party constitution. It was moved by the party presidum chairman E, Madhusudanan, Mr Panneerselveam and another senior party member Edapadi Palanisamy.
Speaking to reporters after the meeting, Mr Madusudanan said they would meet “Chinnamma” to appise her of the party decision and to seek her concurrence.