Panneerselvam meets Sasikala at Poes Garden residence

Chennai, Dec 8 (IANS) Tamil Nadu Chief Minister O. Panneerselvam on Thursday met J. Jayalalithaa’s confidante Sasikala Natarajan at the Poes Garden residence of the late AIADMK leader.

Party officials said senior ministers and party leaders were also present at the meeting, signalling the importance of Sasikala in the AIADMK although she does not hold any party post.

It is learnt that one of the issues discussed was the party leadership post Jayalalithaa held.

Sasikala’s husband M. Natarajan, who was banished from Poes Garden by Jayalalithaa, was prominently seen at the latter’s funeral.

He paid floral tribute to Jayalalithaa after Congress leaders Rahul Gandhi, Ghulam Nabi Azad and S. Thirunavukkarasar.

According to AIADMK officials, a good number of MLAs are loyal to Sasikala as she had a say in the selection of candidates in the elections and also in appointing others in party posts.

It is said Sasikala may pitch for the General Secretary post though the it may not be smooth sailing as there are other interested parties.

Panneerselvam is a Theevar and so is Sasikala. The other dominant caste groups in the AIADMK are Goundar, Vanniyar and Dalit.

According to a political analyst, Jayalalithaa, being an Iyengar and not belonging to any of the dominant castes and also a great vote catcher, was the binding factor that held the party together all these years.

Post Jayalalithaa, the party does not seem to have a charismatic leader who can fetch votes and also be a glue.

–IANS

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