December 31, 2016
From Amma to Chinnamma, AIADMK formally changes hands as Sasikala formally takes charge of the party. Promises to carry forward the welfare state oriented policies that were dear to Amma.
Chennai: Emotional, dramatic and utterances peppered with her humble obeisance to Amma whom she served for over three decades was AIADMK General Secretary V.K. Sasikala’s acceptance speech after formally taking over party reins at headquarters here on Saturday.
Political observers and commoners alike were appreciative of the first public speech of a person who spent most of her working life in the shadows of late Chief Minister J. Jayalalithaa. And why not, as Sasikala sent out political signals to the AIADMK cadres asking them not to project anyone other than party founder MGR, C.N. Annadurai and Jayalaithaa.
But, for the thousands of cadres and even leaders of the party, Chinnamma had already taken the place of Amma when it came to leading the party and guiding it in the times ahead. Symbolically, her picture went up to occupy the pride of place at the venue, along with Amma’s, reiterating her firm control over the party.
Prominently seated in the front row was Chief Minister O. Panneerselvam, other Ministers and top party officials. They were hearing Sasikala speak with rapt attention and took in the import of her message: “Late Chief Ministers Annadurai, MGR and Jayalalithaa are the identities of this massive organisation. Other than them nobody else will be projected in the forefront.”
“MGR and Jayalalithaa were leaders beyond caste and religious lines and the party will continue in the path charted out by them,” she said.
The birth centenary of party founder MGR will begin on January 17, 2017 and the party will celebrate it in a grand manner throughout the year, she said. The AIADMK will also urge the Centre to come out with a commemorative stamp and also a currency coin with MGR’s image.
Paying rich tributes to Jayalalithaa, Sasikala said she had spent more than three decades with Jayalalithaa and the loss of Amma was a personal loss for her, which cannot be described in words.
Jayalalithaa lived for AIADMK and “I lived for Amma”, Sasikala said adding that she will try her best to live up to the expectations of the people and promised that it will be Amma’s government, programmes and policies that will continue.
“If we stand united, the future is ours,” Sasikala said signaling the party leaders to work towards strengthening the unity of the party.