WION Chennai, Tamil Nadu, India
Feb 05, 2017, 09.37 AM
O Panneerselvam, who was appointed Tamil Nadu chief minister after the death of former CM Jayalalithaa, resigned today (February 5). AIADMK general secretary Sasikala Natarajan is all set to take over as the chief minister (CM), the party announced on Twitter. Sasikala was elected the legislative party head by the AIADMK after a meeting with cabinet ministers and senior party leaders today.
Sasikala, who has no previous record of holding public office, flashed the victory sign as she emerged at the balcony of the party headquarters after being elected legislative party head. She also vowed to work for the welfare of the people of Tamil Nadu and "follow the principles of Amma", as Jayalalithaa was fondly addressed by her supporters.
Sasikala, a close aide of Jayalalithaa and addressed as Chinnamma (little mother), said Paneerselvam had asked her to take charge as AIADMK chief after Jayalalithaa's death in December last year.
Chinnamma all set to become the Next Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu.
The 63-year-old leader, who was made the working president of DMK last month, is worried about divisions in the ruling AIADMK after the death of Jayalalithaa and keen that it should not affect the functioning of the administration.
Sasikala appointed senior leaders, including some former ministers and a former Mayor, to key party posts on February 3.
Reversing the appointments made by Jayalalithaa, three top bureaucrats of the state government were also asked to resign by the Chief Minister's Office the same day.
Three bureaucrats considered close to Jayalalithaa -- Sheela Balakrishnan, KN Venkataramanan and Ramalinga -- were asked to put in their papers by Panneerselvam on Sasikala's instructions, a News Minute report claimed.
Sheela Balakrishnan was considered Jayalalithaa's "eyes and ears" and was reportedly running the government while she was hospitalised. She was also the point person between O Panneerselvam, the then Deputy Chief Minister, and Jayalalithaa
Tamil Nadu's opposition party, the DMK, has questioned the ruling party for unceremoniously dumping O Panneerselvam, Jayalalithaa's choice for temporary CM following her arrest in the disproportionate assets case.
An AIADMK member and former MP, KC Palaniswamy has also written to the Election Commission to conduct elections for the post of party general secretary again.
The Election Commission has, meanwhile, sought the AIADMK's response to a complaint filed by sacked leader Sasikala Pushpa against the election of Sasikala as AIADM general secretary, claiming that the election was not as per procedure.