Sasikala Natarajan going to be the new Tamil Nadu CM? She was born in 1954. We all know that she is a close person to Jayalalithaa, the late Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu. Sasikala is the general secretary of (AIADMK) All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam party, the Political party which Jayalalithaa was head for a period of 27years, 1989 until her death in 2016.
It was on 29th December 2016 Sasikala took charges as a general secratery of AIADMK. But is Sasikala, the Chinnamma of Tamil Nadu saint enough or is there lot more to the story?
Who is Sasikala? What is her background?
Sasikala was born in Thiruthuraipoondi. Later the family moved to Mannargudi. She married M.Natarajan. Her husband was working as a Public Relations officer in Tamil Nadu government on a temporary basis. 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.
In the early 1980s, Natarajan requested Collector Chandralekha, who was then the District Collector of South Arcot, and asked her to introduce his wife Sasikala to Jayalalithaa. At that time Jayalalithaa was the Propaganda Secretary of the Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam, for recording of party functions and rallies.
Sasikala Natarajan going to be the new Tamil Nadu CM?
After the death of Jayalalithaa’s political mentor MGR in 1987, Sasikala is said to have offered emotional support to Jayalalithaa. In 1989, she moved into the late chief minister’s residence at Poes Garden. From then on their friendship grew and gradually became very close. She was described by Jayalalithaa as her (udanpiravaa sagodhari) meaning, sister not related through blood.
Sasikala 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. In 1996 Sasikala was arrested on orders of the DMK led government for violating (FERA) the Foreign Exchange Reugulation Act. When Jayalalithaa was arrested on account of the Tamsi land scam in 2014. Along with her Sasikala was also arrested and was asked to pay a fine of Rs.10 crore’s.
Sasikala and her team expelled from AIADMK party by Jayalalitha
Even through the period of 3 tenures where Jayalalithaa was Chief Minister, it has been heard that Sasikala is alleged to possess the absolute power behind the scenes. Sasikala along with her husband and extended family had taken complete control over AIADMK functioning.
On 19 December 2011, Jayalalithaa expelled her long-time close aide Sasikala and 13 others including Sasikala’s husband Natarajan, her family and relatives, including T. T. V. Dhinakaran and Jayalalithaa’s disowned foster son V.N. Sudhakaran and relieved them from the AIADMK.
How did she climb Political steps and rise to power?
Sasikala’s rise to fame in Tamil Nadu politics can be said less by her leadership qualities and more by the suspicious and firm relationship she shared with the late chief minister Jayalalithaa.
Sasikala managed the party affairs when Jayalalithaa was admitted in hospital. Being closest aide she stood beside her in last hours. This had made it clear who would have the reigns of party power following Jayalalithaa’s demise.
After all the anticipation regarding who will take over as General Secretary of the All India AIADMK post the death of Jayalalithaa, her close aide Sasikala Natarajan was appointed. While appointing her, Sasikala’s work to the growth of the party was also considered as deserving.
Sasikala has never made a public speech and definitely lacks the charisma and personality that marked Jayalalithaa’s career. But, the way she managed party affairs after Jayalalithaa’s death is being regarded as her achievement. This was one of the reasons for accepting her succession to the role of General Secretary. The AIADMK party candidates welcomed SASIKALA as their Chinnamma (little mother).