Not a walk in the park for Sasikala

Sasikala, who doesn’t have a mass following, faces an uphill task of governing Tamil Nadu and also keeping the AIADMK flock together

shivani

Shivani Chaturvedi | February 6, 2017 | Chennai


#Sasikala   #Jayalalithaa   #Tamil Nadu   #AIADMK   #DMK   #Stalin  


 Sasikala’s elevation as chief minister of Tamil Nadu, exactly 60 days after Jayalalithaa’s death, may bring down the curtains on the power struggle. But, the road ahead is not going to be easy for Sasikala, with fears that the AIADMK may begin to lose the support of its cadres.

 AIADMK general secretary Sasikala will take over as the chief minister on February 9. Chinnamma, as Sasikala is addressed in the party, was on Sunday elected as legislature party leader by MLAs during a party meeting. Chief minister O Panneerselvam proposed her name at the meeting of AIADMK legislators, making way for her.  
 
 "Chinnamma all set to become the next chief minister of Tamil Nadu," AIADMK said in a tweet.
 
 Looks like it is going to be a smooth transition as far as the administration is concerned.
 
 
 But what does this development mean for AIADMK? Is it the beginning of the end of AIADMK? It is apparent that Sasikala doesn’t have a mass following. Cadres do not accept her. Some fear that the party which has huge cadre strength, may start declining in the days to come leading to party’s rout in the next assembly elections.  
 
 Also, cadres from marginalised sections feel that they would be left out. MG Ramachandran, known as MGR, and Jayalalithaa used to give confidence to cadres from marginalised sections by giving them posts like counsellor. But now their hope has faded. They feel that for Sasikala it will be family over party.   
 
 
 Evident by the crowds Jayalalithaa’s niece Deepa Jayakumar is drawing in her state-wide tour, party cadre are now split on the ground. Loyalty is divided between Sasikala and Deepa. AIADMK insiders say that Sasikala’s team is trying to talk to Deepa, but Deepa wants to lead her party and has refused to join Sasikala.
 
 
 It is now to be seen how Sasikala manages the situation. Now the future of the AIADMK as the largest party in the state is at stake.     
 The principal opposition DMK is trying to cash in on the development. Party working president Stalin remarked that whatever is happening in AIADMK is against Jayalalithaa’s will.
 
Sasikala’s elevation wasn't a surprise. It was just a matter of time. Since Sasikala does not enjoy popular support within the party, it took time for her to consolidate the support. Sasikala doled out party posts to keep the party in her grip.  
 
 It is now to be seen what strategy Sasikala deploys to further strengthen her position.
 

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