'Chinnamma' Sasikala all set to Become Next CM of Tamil Nadu

'Chinnamma' Sasikala all set to Become Next CM of Tamil Nadu

These words clearly sum up the astonishing rise-and-rise of Sasikala Natarajan.

Sasikala took over as the party chief on 30 December previous year, after the untimely demise of long-time leader J Jayalalithaa on 5 December.

After the death of J. Jayalalithaa, her close aide V.K. Sasikala unanimously elected as the AIADMK Legislature Party leader replacing O. Panneerselvam.

The news of Sasikala's elevation as Tamil Nadu chief minister had been doing the rounds ever since she took over as the party chief. Here is a quick tour of what we know about this political 'dark horse'.

Sasikala was born in Mannargudi, a small town in Tamil Nadu.

A confidante of Jayalalitha, Sasikala was appointed as the general secretary of the party after the latter's death.

Among others, former bureaucrat Sheela Balakrishnan, who was also an adviser to Jayalalithaa, has also resigned, reportedly because she was miffed over being ignored by the new dispensation.

Balaji seemed to be under stress as a video from earlier that day showed him and a few AIADMK members thrashing an AIADMK cadre for tearing Sasikala's poster.

When MGR died in 1987, the AIADMK split into two factions, one led by Jayalalithaa and the other by his wife Janaki.

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Post the meeting, Sasikala began to work for AIADMK. But despite their closeness, Sasikala maintained a low profile publicly although she was actively involved in managing the party affairs.

They eventually commemorated their friendship in 1987 when Jayalalithaa and her supporters were mocked during the funeral of party mentor MG Ramachandran.

Stalin said Sasikala was never the choice of late Jayalalithaa when she had to quit as chief minister in 2001 and again in 2011. She also needs to win an election and become a part of the state assembly within six months.

Though he based his argument on the recent controversy around jallikattu and was campaigning for Andhra Pradesh's special category status, the Telugu film star wasn't straying very far from the truth while highlighting the disconnect between south Indian states, its people, politics and the so-called largely New Delhi-based national mainstream media.

Much of her importance comes from the fact that she was a close associate of Jayalalithaa and privy to the decision-making process that shaped the AIADMK for nearly three decades. The press meet, facilitated by the Tamil Nadu government, is meant to address rumours and allegations surrounding Jayalalithaa's death.

Sasikala's expulsion came against the background of allegations of corruption during the 1991-1996 AIADMK regime. A crucial milestone in the relationship between the two was when Jayalalithaa's short-term son, Sudhakaran who was also the nephew of Sasikala was married off to the granddaughter of actor Sivaji Ganesan. "Accept my resignation and relieve the council of ministers appointed by me on December 6", he said in the letter.

In the days after Jayalalithaa's death past year, AIADMK general council unanimously appointed Sasikala as the party's general secretary.

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".