Senior AIADMK leader C. Ponnaiyan declared on Wednesday that V.K. Sasikala, the close friend and confidante of former chief minister Jayalalithaa, is the only contestant for the post of AIADMK general secretary.
“As of now, there is no contest,” Mr. Ponnaiyan said, a day ahead of the general council meeting in which Ms. Sasikala is expected to be elected as the party leader. “She still has not given her consent,” he said in reply to a question.
Ministers, party headquarters secretaries, district secretaries, heads of various wings and leaders at all levels have endorsed Ms. Sasikala’s leadership as she had lived and worked with Amma for 35 years with “political acumen”, he added. “There is no problem in her attending the general council meeting,” he said, adding that the general council was empowered to elect her as the general secretary as the post fell vacant following the demise of Jayalalithaa. “Till now, no other application has been received,” he said. No rules or regulations would be violated in the process and the case filed (by Rajya Sabha MP Sasikala Pushpa) in the Madras High Court would not pose any problem in holding the general council meeting.
It was strictly a party meeting and there would not be any discussions on the Chief Minister’s post, he told reporters. Already, the party MLAs had elected O. Panneerselvam as the Chief Minister, he said, in reply to a question if Ms. Sasikala would be made the Chief Minister once she becomes the general secretary.
On Wednesday, the chorus to make Sasikala the general secretary continued, with many leaders calling her at Poes Garden. “She is testing the loyalty of the party leaders. Otherwise, why every leader was being summoned to meet her,” said a leader.
Chief Minister O. Panneerselvam was also at the Poes Garden for the second day in succession after a brief gap. AIADMK party organ Dr. Namadhu MGR too described Ms. Sasikala as the “heir apparent” of Jayalalithaa in front page.
“It is a foregone conclusion,” said a Minister, requesting anonymity.