Vivekanandan Krishnaveni Sasikala better known as Sasikala Natarajan is a seasoned Indian politician belonging to Tamil Nadu's AIADMK party.
The general council of the party unanimously appointed Sasikala as the party's general secretary after former Tamil Nadu CM J. J. Jayalalithaa's death. In political circles, she was known to be a close aide of J. Jayalalithaa, the former Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu. She is the general secretary of All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (AIADMK), the political party which Jayalalithaa headed from 1989 until her death in 2016.
Sasikala Natarajan was proposed to take oath as Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu on February 9th, 2017.
During Jayalalithaa's three tenures as Chief Minister, Sasikala is alleged to have misused her position to Jayalalitha to amass wealth for her family members. She was arrested along with Jayalalithaa on 7 December 1996 and was remanded to judicial custody for 30 days in connection with the Colour TV scam.
Sasikala was born in 1957 to Vivekanandan Mudhaliar and Krishnaveni. She was married to M. Natarajan. The wedding happened in front of DMK Chief M. Karunanidhi.
Her husband M. Natarajan worked as a Public Relations officer in Tamil Nadu government. He was working closely with the then District Collector of Cuddalore V. S. Chandralekha, IAS, who in turn was very close to the then Tamil Nadu CM M. G. Ramachandran.
Meeting with Jayalalithaa
In the early 1980s, M. Natarajan requested V. S. Chandralekha, who was then the District Collector of South Arcot, to introduce his wife Sasikala to Jayalalithaa, who was then the Propaganda Secretary of the Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam, for recording video of party functions. Sasikala and Jayalalithaa gradually became very close.
Expulsion from AIADMK
On 19 December 2011, Jayalalithaa expelled Sasikala Natarajan and 13 others including Sasikala's husband M. Natarajan, T. T. V. Dhinakaran, their relatives, and Jayalalithaa's disowned foster son V. N. Sudhakaran from the AIADMK. Jayalalithaa alleged that Sasikala and her family were working against her. The matter was resolved by 31 March when Sasikala Natarajan was reinstated as a party member after issuing a written apology.
General secretary of AIADMK
After Jayalalithaa's death in December 2016, the AIADMK general council unanimously appointed Sasikala as the party's general secretary.