Chennai, Feb 3: In a move that is sure to raise eyebrows, Jayalalithaa's close aide and trusted lieutenant Sheela Balakrishnan, IAS, has been relieved from her post as advisor to Tamil Nadu government. Secretary to Chief Minister, Venkataramanan and Ramalingam have been shown the door as well.
While reports suggested that Sheela Balakrishnan has already resigned from her post, the other two top bureaucrats have been informed of the government's decision to let them go. All three bureaucrats were said to be close confidants of Jayalalithaa. Their unceremonious exit is naturally being looked at as a result of a difference of opinion with the current government. The dual power centre in Tamil Nadu is an open secret and the bureaucrats' exit is being looked at as a direct result of the same.
The move comes in the wake of changing political scenario in Tamil Nadu post former AIADMK supremo J Jayalalithaa's death. A favourite of Jayalalithaa, 62-year-old retired Sheela Balakrishnan was recalled by the then Chief Minister after her superannuation.
A special post was created for Sheela Balakrishnan to help run the Tamil Nadu government. Months that J Jayalalithaa spent in the hospital, only two women were given access to her and Sheela Balakrishnan was one of them. Those from within the party as well as the government on multiple occasions said that Sheela Balakrishnan ran the government when the machinery had come to a grinding halt with Jayalalithaa's ill-health.