December 10, 2016
“Only Sasikala can lead the party and only she has the capabilities” in the refrain of the leaders and cadres of ruling party who make a beeline to the Poes Gardens residence to pay obeisance to Chinnamma.
Chennai: AIADMK leaders on Saturday closed ranks behind longtime companion of Jayalalithaa, Sasikala Natarajan, and urged her to take over reigns of the party. The early indication of this came from senior AIADMK leader C Ponnaiyan appealing to the media and people not to belief rumors, even as top party functionaries reached Poes Gardens to plead to Chinnamma to assume the leadership mantle.
Among those who made a beeline to Poes Gardens included senior party leaders K.A. Sengottaiyan, Valarmathi, S. Gokula Indira and few ministers who all appealed to Sasikala to take over the party and guide it through the short and long term future.
“She is very well qualified to lead the party and only she can guide the party at this juncture when it has been orphaned by the sad demise of Amma,” is the tone and tenor of the sentiments expressed by leaders and cadres who thronged the Poes Gardens residence.
Earlier in the day, spokespersons Ponnain and CR Saraswathi said there was nothing wrong in people calling on Sasikala who has been closely associated with Amma for over three decades. If the leaders are expressing their wish and sentiments, it is only natural that they see in Sasikala a person who can sincerely follow the ideals and goals set by Amma.
The leaders asked Sasikala to take over the party and put a full stop to rumours. Initially it was being said that senior party leader Sengottaiyan was angling for the key post of general secretary that Jayalalithaa held unchallenged ever since she took over the reins of the party two decades ago.
The party has one and half crore sipporters who will take a collective decision, he said adding the general secretary will be chosen soon. And it will be unanimous, frustrating the hopes of some opposition parties that are indulging in wishful thinking.
“There was no split, there is no split and there will be no split in AIADMK,” another senior AIADMK leader and minister said after coming out of Poes Gardens.
Sengottaiyan also said that Sasikala was very capable to take over the party. Former MLA Valarmathi said Sasikala has been with Jayalalithaa for thirty years. “Chinnamma must take over. She is already a part of the executive council and only she must take over. Over the last 30 years, she has helped Jayalalithaa,” she told television reporters.
In a similar vein, former Chennai Mayor, Saidai Duraisamy said that Sasikala must become the focal point of the government and the party.