Senior AIADMK leader C Ponnaiyan told reporters Saturday that the party will elect its new general secretary soon in a decision that will be unanimous. The general secretary’s post was earlier occupied by J Jayalalithaa, the chief minister of Tamil Nadu who passed away on December 5.
Rumours are swirling that if the decision is unanimous, then it could be Jayalalithaa’s long-time aide Sasikala who would assume the role of the new party chief. While O Panneerselvam has taken over as the new chief minister of the state, Sasikala’s supporters have said she could be the natural choice for the party chief. Other contenders for the post include Lok Sabha deputy speaker M Thambidurai and senior leader KA Sengottaiyan. But Ponnaiyan indicated there will be no contest.
“Party remained united under Amma and will follow the same in coming days. We will unanimously choose a candidate for the party,” Ponnaiyan told reporters.
Jayalalithaa, who ruled AIADMK with an iron grip, had not allowed a second line of leaders throughout her term as the party chief. While Panneerselvam was the finance minister in her cabinet, he has stepped into the chief minister’s role two times when Jayalalithaa came under scrutiny for alleged corruption. As for Sasikala, she has been close to Jayalalithaa for the past two decades although there have been differences in between. After Jayalalithaa’s death, Sasikala continued to stay in the Poes Garden residence.