AIADMK general secretary VK Sasikala is likely to take over as the Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu on February 8 or 9 and a decision is this regard is expected to be taken at a meeting of AIADMK MLAs on Sunday.
As per a media report, Sasikala may take over from O Panneerselvam, who was appointed as the CM of the state in December after the demise of J Jayalalithaa.
In a major step, Sasikala, on Friday, appointed former minister KA Sengottaiyan and former mayor Saidai S Duraisamy as organisation secretaries. In all, 23 new senior functionaries including nine former ministers were appointed on Friday. She had also announced the removal of Ambattur MLA V Alexander as AIADMK’s MGR Youth Wing secretary.
Sources also added that three top bureaucrats, including advisor to the Tamil Nadu government and a Jayalalithaa loyalist Sheila Balakrishnan had been asked to resign on Friday night following which she quit from her post.
Balakrishnan was believed to have played a key role in guiding the State’s administration during the 75 days when Jayalalithaa was in hospital. She had earned Jayalalithaa’s confidence when she served as Secretary to the Chief Minister between 2002 and 2006. Balakrishnan took over as the Chief Secretary on January 1, 2013, superseding her husband, and held the post till March 31, 2014. Upon superannuation two years later, she was made adviser to the government for a period of one year. In 2015, her service was extended by another two years.
Meanwhile, another media report has quoted AIADMK spokesperson CR Saraswathi as confirming that an MLA meeting will be held on Sunday. “This is an official matter… We have an MLAs’ meeting tomorrow… after that some decision will be taken,” she said.
Reacting on the report, BJP’s Subramanian Swamy on Saturday took to Twitter and posted, “If Sasikala becomes CM on Monday then she must crack down on Porkis.”
Sasikala was appointed as the party general secretary on December 29 following an AIADMK annual general body meeting which was attended by senior rank bearers of the AIADMK including Chief Minister O. Panneerselvam. Meanwhile, apart from adopting a resolution to work under the leadership of Sasikala Natarajan, the AIADMK also passed 14 resolutions including one that Jayalalithaa’s birthday be celebrated as ‘National Farmers Day’.