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India: AIADMK general secretary Sasikala may take over as chief minister of Tamil Nadu

Sasikala emerged at the balcony of the AIADMK headquarters in Chennai and flashed the victory sign soon after her appointment. Photograph: (Twitter)

DNA New Delhi, Delhi, India Feb 04, 2017, 03.46 PM (IST)

VK Sasikala Natarajan, a close aide of late Tamil Nadu chief minister J Jayalalithaa, who took over as AIADMK General Secretary in December, is likely to take over as the CM of the Southern Indian state next week.

According to reports, Sasikala may take over from O Panneerselvam, on February 8 or 9 and a decision in this regard could likely to be taken at a meeting of the AIADMK MLAs on Sunday.

The development comes a day after Sasikala appointed senior leaders, including some former ministers and a former Mayor, to key party posts.

Former ministers KA Sengottaiyan, S Gokula Indira and BV Ramana, besides ex-Mayor Saidai S Duraisamy were appointed as the party's organisation secretaries, she said. She announced the appointment of various senior leaders, including fisheries minister D Jayakumar, to a number of posts.

She also announced the removal of Ambattur MLA V Alexander as AIADMK's MGR Youth Wing secretary.

Meanwhile, reversing the appointments made by Jayalalithaa, three top bureaucrats of the state government have been asked to resign by CMO.

Earlier, pledging to take forward the legacy of Jayalalithaa, Sasikala had asserted that none other than party founder MG Ramachandran, Dravidian ideologue CN Annadurai and 'Amma' would be given prominence in the party.

In her first formal address to functionaries after formally taking charge as party chief, Sasikala had said that the AIADMK will continue to be run in the same way as it was during Amma;s time when it was administered with a level of "discipline as seen in the Army". It will continue to follow in the footsteps of these great leaders who looked beyond caste and religion, she said. Her assertion came against the backdrop of some murmur of protests against her taking over as the party's general secretary.

(This first appeared in DNA)

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