V K Sasikala, shadow of Jayalalithaa for nearly three decades, was on Sunday set to become the Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu as the AIADMK Legislature Party elected her as its leader, over a month after she became the party’s powerful General Secretary.
She is expected to be sworn-in as the third Chief Minister of the state within two months on Tuesday.
The name of 62-year-old Sasikala as AIADMK Legislature Party leader was proposed by Chief Minister O Panneerselvam at a meeting of party MLAs at the party headquarters here.
The MLAs unanimously elected her as their leader, enabling her to take over the reins from Panneerselvam.
Soon after, ‘Chinnamma’ Sasikala drove to the party headquarters where she was greeted by Panneerselvam and senior party leaders.
Prior to the party meeting on a day of fast-pased developments, Panneerselvam visited the Poes Garden Residence to meet Sasikala.
“It was Panneerselvam who had first persuaded me to become the Chief Minister and General Secretary as well when Jayalalithaa passed away,” Sasikala told party legislators in her acceptance speech.
She said the development has come “shattering the expectation of our political opponents that there will be a split in the party after the demise of our Amma (Jayalalithaa).”
Sasikala had a special word of praise for the Panneerselvam, stating “whenever the party faced tough times and whenever there were difficulties in Amma becoming the Chief Minister, it was our dear brother Panneerselvam who has been loyal.”
Sasikala said the AIADMK would strive for the welfare of the people of Tamil Nadu.
With her elevation, which comes over a month after she took charge as AIADMK General Secretary on December 31, Sasikala carries on the legacy of Jayalalithaa, who also held the two posts allowing her to wield complete control on the government and the party.