AIADMK, the story so far

Sasikala takes over as AIADMK general secretary

V.K. Sasikala breaks down while addressing party members after taking over as AIADMK general secretary at the party headquarters in Chennai on Saturday.

V.K. Sasikala breaks down while addressing party members after taking over as AIADMK general secretary at the party headquarters in Chennai on Saturday.

V.K. Sasikala, close aide of former Chief Minister Jayalalithaa, formally took over as the general secretary of the AIADMK on Saturday.

She became the second woman leader to lead the party after Jayalalithaa.

On Thursday,  the AIADMK general council appointed Ms. Sasikala as general secretary. She will be the interim general secretary till she is formally elected to the post.

Ms. Sasikala who arrived at the party headquarters at 12.12 p.m. garlanded the statue of MGR even as a few women cadre raised the slogan " Puratchi Thalaivi Vaazhga ".  A few seconds later they chanted " chinnamma Vaazhga ".

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After garlanding the statue, Ms. Sasikala, flanked by senior party members and Chief Minister O. Panneerselvam, went inside the headquarters building to the office room of the general secretary. They were closeted inside for more than 20 minutes.

Ms. Sasikala then came out to the balcony on the first floor, greeted partymen with folded hands and left. She then went inside and addressed party members.

"It was shocking that she [Jayalalithaa] died suddenly. She has left us leaderless. For Amma, this organisation was  life. For me she was my life," the new general secretary said.

During her 23 -minute speech, she broke down several times. She thanked everyone for making her the general secretary and promised to lead the party in the right direction “till her last breath”.

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Ms. Sasikala also said she never even dreamt that she would be in this position, nor was this her ambition. She also hit out at the opposition parties for trying to break the unity of the AIADMK.

The speech was also showed on a specially-erected screen at the venue.

Interestingly, there seemed as if there were more police personnel at the venue than party cadre, in a departure from the past when cadre would throng the road to have a glimpse of Jayalalithaa. Security was also stepped up at Poes Garden.

V.K. Sasikala speaks after taking over as AIADMK general secretary at the party headquarters in Chennai on Saturday.

V.K. Sasikala speaks after taking over as AIADMK general secretary at the party headquarters in Chennai on Saturday.

 


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Printable version | May 19, 2022 12:08:29 pm | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/tamil-nadu//article60625916.ece