Chennai: A host of senior AIADMK functionaries today urged former Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa’s aide Sasikala Natrajan to take on the mantle of both the party and the state government as general secretary and Chief Minister respectively.
Days after the demise of Jayalalithaa, top AIADMK leaders, including Chief Minister O Panneerselvam and Lok Sabha Deputy Speaker M Thambidurai had urged Sasikala to become the party General Secretary, a post held by ‘Amma’ all her life.
Against this background, the functionaries today wanted Ms Natrajan, called “Chinnamma” (younger amma) by AIADMK workers to not only lead the party, but also the government.
Jayalalithaa Peravai, a wing of the ruling AIADMK, had earlier in the day passed a resolution urging Sasikala Natrajan to become both party general secretary and Chief Minister by contesting from RK Nagar constituency in Chennai, which was represented by late Jayalalithaa. Peravai Secretary R B Udhayakumar who is also the Tamil Nadu Revenue Minister, handed over the resolution titled “Thai Thanta Varam,” (Sasikala is a boon granted by Amma) to Ms Natrajan, urging her to take the responsibilities of both the party and the government.
“Besides guarding AIADMK, Chinnamma should fight the RK Nagar bypoll (now vacant due to the death of Jayalalithaa) and assume responsibility as Chief Minister, and lead the Amma’s government,” Mr Udhayakumar told reporters.
Information Minister Kadambur Raju and Endowments Minister Sevoor S Ramachandran, who are also Peravai functionaries, were among 50 Peravai members who called on Ms Natrajan, along with Udhaya Kumar. Party cadres led by Tirupur Rural District Secretary, Udumalai K Radhakrishnan, the Housing Minister, also made a similar demand.
He said “we requested Chinnamma to guard 1.5 crore AIADMK workers by becoming the party General Secretary and the over seven crore people of Tamil Nadu by becoming Chief Minister.”
Mr Radhakrishan said a resolution passed in this regard was handed over to Ms Natrajan. Flanked by Ministers P Benjamin (Rural Industries) and K Pandiarajan (School Education) from his district, Tiruvallur East district secretary V Alexander said they gave Ms Natrajan a resolution adopted by their party unit, making this request.
North Chennai (South) District Secretary and former Rajya Sabha MP N Balaganga, South Chennai (North) District Secretary and former MLA,V P Kalairajan,Madurai Rural District Secretary Rajan Chellappa, former Agriculture Minister, Agri S S Krishnamoorthy (Tiruvannamalai District) were among party functionaries who wanted Sasikala Natrajan to assume responsibilities of party and government.
They and district level cadres visited the Poes Garden residence of Jayalalithaa where Ms Natrajan continues to live and gave her copies of resolutions adopted at their party units. Mr Thambidurai accompanied Mr Natrajan when she met the functionaries at Poes Garden.