Tamil Nadu

Sasikala is the sixth person to be AIADMK general secretary

A poster of Jayalalithaa’s close friend V.K. Sasikala in Tiruchi. File photo  

V.K. Sasikala, who is all set to take charge as general secretary of the AIADMK on Saturday, will be the sixth person and the second woman to hold the post.

M.G. Ramachandran, who founded the party in October 1972 following his exit from the Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (DMK), was the first general secretary. He occupied the post till June 1978. When reports of infighting in the AIADMK cropped up, MGR took back the post in October 1986 and held it till his death in December 1987.

A perusal of materials available with The Hindu archives reveals that at a public meeting in Thirukazhukundram, MGR had said that workers of the party would hereafter elect the party general secretary and the term of the office would be only three years.

V.R. Nedunchezhian, who joined the AIADMK in September 1977, was initially made the officiating general secretary and subsequently, the full-fledged general secretary in January 1979.

Nedunchezhian had to quit the post in June 1980 after he became Finance Minister. P.U. Shanmugam succeeded him. Consequent to becoming Local Administration Minister in March 1985, he resigned from the post.

S. Raghavanandam, who became the next general secretary, occupied the post nearly for one and a half years. After the death of MGR, the party suffered a split. On January 1, 1988, Jayalalithaa, who was the then propaganda secretary, announced that she assumed the general secretaryship of the party in response to, what was claimed, a request conveyed by 15 district secretaries of the party. For sometime, this group was identified as AIADMK (Jayalalithaa).

The other faction owing allegiance to MGR’s widow Janaki Ramachandran came to be called the AIADMK (Janaki). Raghavanandam, who was a senior deputy general secretary at the time of the split, became the general secretary in-charge of this faction. After the two factions suffered heavy reverses in 1989 Assembly elections, they came together and became the unified AIADMK. Jayalalithaa continued to hold on to the post of the general secretary till her death.

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Printable version | Jan 21, 2021 8:42:44 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/tamil-nadu/Sasikala-is-the-sixth-person-to-be-AIADMK-general-secretary/article16968191.ece

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