Sasikala becomes General Secretary
The AIADMK has formally appointed Ms. Sasikala Natarajan as its General Secretary. She replaces Jayalalithaa the former Chief Minister and her erstwhile companion. Stories of intrigues in Tamil Nadu politics rival the ones one has read of, in Indian and European Royal Courts. The creator of D’Artagnan and The Three Musketeers, Alexandre Dumas may even have learned a thing or two.
A ‘Queenly’ Chief Minister dies in hospital after two months of intensive care failed. Her long time companion seems to be the only one who can tell the immediate reason for her ending up there. Assume the Doctors at Apollo know what happened subsequently.
Post Amma’s funeral, anyone who is anything in the AIADMK party had been falling over themselves and over each other to be the one true sychophant. The objective was to hail Sasikala as the Chinnamma (Little Mother) who would need to lift the ‘orphaned’ children out of the misery of rudderless-ness.
A videographer who became a Chief Minister’s companion has now become the power to reckon with, in TN politics. There may be a little bickering in some cadre ranks, with reports also of Jayalalithaa’s niece being open to a role in TN politics. But for now, Chinnamma (Little Mother) as Sasikala is known as, is calling the shots in AIADMK and TN Government.
Cool Chilli’s Comments
Tamil Nadu politics has been peculiar and has been beset with sycophancy for a long time now. The leaders reach the top politically due to their Cinematic status and then become demigods. And which God or Godess doesn’t enjoy adulation or devotion? In TN in particular, servility and sycophancy have replaced intelligence and performance as the means to gain favour. Jayalalitha may have come into power the hard way with her native intelligence and erudition helping her, no doubt. But the current Chief Minister, Mr. O. Paneerselvam’s (OPS) most notable feature was his loyalty to Amma. Nothing more nothing less.
Sasikala as the General Secretary of the AIADMK and OPS as Chief Minister may not augur well for governance in TN. Sasikala is not tested as a public figure. The man on the street knows that OPS (O Paneerselvam) is but a figurehead. Mr Manmohan Singh was chosen by Mrs Sonia Gandhi to head the UPA government, but OPS may not be very welcome for Sasikala. He had been Amma’s choice as a stand-by Chief Minister, but OPS completing his tenure as CM may not be part of Chinnamma’s plans.
Mr Manmohan Singh as Prime Minister attracted negative press for being a front for Mrs Sonia Gandhi. But he was/is a respected Economist in his own right. This factor would definitely have also contributed to their discussions, even if Mrs Sonia Gandhi only had political or pecuniary perspectives. Mr Singh set up the pioneering Aadhar Card or UIDAI which is a big gamechanger for better governance, if leveraged well. Mr Singh can surely take credit for it.
Mrs Sonia Gandhi chose Mr
Amma may have been thinking of Sasikala as namma Canary. Through Chicanery or otherwise, Chinamma is born and the stage is set for a different tune in Tamil Nadu. What India and the Congress Party took a few decades to traverse, Tamil Nadu and AIADMK have done in a matter of weeks. A Lady Leader who was the ‘only man’ in her Cabinet, followed by a Head of the Cabinet, who will only be an HMV, Her Majesty’s Voice. Whether Sasikala is able to shed her ‘schemer-behind-the-scenes’ image and groom herself as a Statesman, time will tell.
Not only the people of Tamil Nadu but the Mandarins at New Delhi are also watching. If there is one person in the world, Cool Chilli would rather not be, it is OPS. Distant Delhi wants him to continue, but Chinnamma closer home may not.