Chennai, Feb 5: The AIADMK MLAs elected Sasikala Natarajan as the leader of their legislative party in a meeting held at the party headquarters on Sunday. Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu and current legislative party chief O Panneerselvam proposed her name to be elected for the post of legislative party leader after announcing his resignation from the chief minister's post .
Sasikala Natarajan was chosen as the leader of legislative party unopposed. This will effectively confirm her taking over the state as it's Chief Minister.
Minutes after she was elected as the leader of AIADMK legislative party, Sasikala Natarajan was seen moving from Poes Garden to the Party headquarters. Before the scheduled meeting of MLAs, O Panneerselvam and senior leaders of the AIADMK met Sasikala Natarajan at her residence.
Sasikala Natarajan's elevation comes amidst speculations of her taking over as the Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu replacing O Panneerselvam. Her elevation comes amidst stiff opposition from the DMK as well as Jayalalithaa's niece Deepa Jayakumar. "Her taking over the party is akin to a military coup since she is not an elected representative," Deepa Jayakumar had said earlier on Sunday.
DMK' s working president M K Stalin had lashed out at Sasikala Natarajan earlier in the day. "It is a black day. People of Tamil Nadu did not vote for Jayalalithaa's household," he had said.
Unfazed by criticisms, the AIADMK MLAs have chosen Sasikala Natarajan as their legislative party leader. It is only a matter of time before she takes over as the Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu.
Addressing the party cadre soon after being elected the leader of legislative party, Sasikala said that Panneerselvam requested her to lead the Party as well as the government. "Following the demise of our Amma, it was O Paneerselvam who urged me to take charge as the general secretary of AIADMK. Now, once again is was O Paneerselvam who insisted that I become the Chief Minister of the State. Tamil Nadu Government will always work towards the welfare of the people and will follow the principles of Amma," she said.
Sources from the AIADMK suggest that she may take oath as the Chief Minister on February 7 or 9 depending on the most auspicious date. Being a strong believer in astrology, Sasikala Natarajan is said to have decided on the dates after her astrologer suggested them. O Panneerselvam will return to his position of second in command as far as the government is concerned.