Bengaluru, Oct 5: With Tamil Nadu Chief Minister, J Jayalalithaa in hospital for over a week now, questions are being raised about who runs to show? While many in the AIADMK maintain that Amma is the one who still runs the show, there are not many takers for the same.
Questions are being asked if Jayalalithaa's close aide, Sasikala Natrajan is calling the shots. While some say Sasikala handles the party affairs, the ministers are reporting to Sheela Balakrishnan, a retired IAS officer.
Sheela Balakrishan is a trusted aide of Jayalalithaa and according to many, she is the one who is in charge of the administration in Tamil Nadu today.
Who is Sheela Balakrishnan?
Sheela Balakrishan is a 1976 batch IAS officer who hails from Thiruvananthapuram, Kerala. She retired from service in 2014, but was appointed as the advisor to the Chief Minister.
One of Jayalalithaa's most trusted aides, she operates today out of the second floor of the Apollo hospital where the chief minister is admitted.
There are two rooms besides the one in which Amma is admitted. While one is occupied by Sasikala Natrajan, the other is occupied by Sheela Balakrishnan. Ministers and officers meet her regularly on government affairs. She has not taken any major policy decision, but she has ensured that the administration has not collapsed.
Her equation with Jayalalalithaa has been a very good one. She started to interact closely with Amma in 2002. She earned Jayalalithaa's trust and since then has been a trusted aide.
She was sidelined when the DMK came to power. However, with Amma returning to power in 2011, she was back in the hot seat. She even superseded her husband, Balakrishnan R to occupy the post of Chief Secretary in the year 2012.
Post her retirement, she was appointed as an advisory to the Chief Minister.