Sasikala Natarajan has become the new Jayalalithaa in Tamil Nadu. She lives at Jayalalithaa's Poes Garden residence, she uses cars that were used by the late leader and now she works from the office where the former CM sat and helms her party as well. It is to be seen if she will take Jayalalithaa's constituency as well. After all, it seems only a matter of time before Sasikala takes over as the chief minister of Tamil Nadu. The newly appointed general secretary of the All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam is already being urged by party members to lead the government in-keeping with the party's practice of having a single power centre.
While fighting an election will become inevitable for Sasikala Natarajan the constituency becomes the key. While many political pundits believe that she will bank on caste votes and will choose constituency that favours her caste, others believe that R K Nagar which was Jayalalithaa's constituency, continues to be an option.
"Sasikala contesting from R K cannot be ruled out. Yes, she will prefer to contest from a constituency where caste can be in her favour and where she can bank on people from her community to vote for her but saying that she won't contest from there are won't get the votes there is mere speculation. Chances of her contesting from R K Nagar may be slim, but not ruled out," said Ramasubramaniam, a senior journalist and political analyst.
Some however, believe that R K Nagar is a chance that Sasikala wouldn't want to take. Her eyes are said to be set on constituencies beyond the Madurai belt. Caste is now Sasikala's biggest advantage and she is likely to bank on the same. With support of all 136 MLAs in the assembly, Sasikala needs only the people's approval to be the chief minister.
Why the push for Sasikala to become CM?
While Sasikala Natarajan was never involved in active politics, it is a well known fact that she functioned as the back office of J Jayalalithaa. Party decisions were taken by Sasikala Natarajan including choosing candidates for polls. She has now only emerged from the shadow and has come out in the open to administer the party. In his letter to Sasikala urging her to take over as the chief minister, Thambidurai has stressed on the acumen she has as a leader. While she enjoys the support of the party members, public opinion is a different matter altogether.
"There is massive public anger against Sasikala despite party vowing to stand by her. Not becoming the chief minister will enhance the threat she faces. Becoming the CM of Tamil Nadu is the only way for her to keep herself politically relevant," said senior journalist Ramasubramanium. "A narrative has been prepared for her to become the CM and considering the public anger against her, this will only give her the constitutional protection," he added.