Ministers reiterated the demand for Sasikala taking over as the CM as it was the “dream and wishes of over 1.5 crore AIADMK members.
Chennai: Three ministers in Tamil Nadu chief minister O. Panneerselvam’s Cabinet on Sunday revolted openly against his leadership by reiterating their campaign for AIADMK general secretary Sasikala Natarajan to take over the reins of the government from him. The ministers also stressed that the posts of the AIADMK supremo and CM were held by one and the same since the party’s inception and this practice should be continued.
Revenue minister R.B. Uthayakumar, information and publicity minister Kadambur Raju and Hindu religious and charitable endowments minister Sevvoor S. Ramachandran said they believe Ms Sasikala, who took charge as AIADMK general secretary on Saturday, would fulfil their wishes sooner than later.
After paying tributes at the memorial of J. Jayalalithaa on Marina beach, the three ministers reiterated the demand for Ms Sasikala taking over as the chief minister as it was the “dream and wishes of over 1.5 crore AIADMK members”. Mr Uthayakumar was the first minister to openly revolt against O.P.S. on December 18 when he passed a “resolution” at Jayalalithaa’s memorial demanding Ms Sasikala take over as chief minister.
Mr Raju said right from the time of late M.G. Ramachandran, both the posts of general secretary and CM have been held by the same person and the practice should continue. “We have always practiced the rule of handing over both responsibilities to the same person. And we want Chinamma to take over as the CM,” he said.
At the memorial, Mr Ramachandran said the resolution adopted at the AIADMK general council meeting on December 29 had resolved to work under the leadership of Ms Sasikala. “It is understood that she (Sasikala) has to lead both the party and the government,” he said.
When contacted, party spokesperson C.R. Saraswathi defended the demand that one person should hold both the posts, saying the leaders of the party had always followed the practice. “We want Chinamma (Sasikala) to take over as chief minister since she knows how our Amma (Jayalalithaa) implemented all people-friendly measures. We want her to lead both the party and the government,” she said.
Asked whether the statements by the ministers is not an open revolt against O.P.S. and why should he be disturbed when he is just settling down, Ms Saraswathi said the chief minister was one of the senior most leaders of the AIADMK and he would do anything for the interest of the party. “He (O.P.S.) is very adjustable and he will be the first person to (give way for Sasikala) in the interest of the party. He had handed over power twice to our late Amma when he was made CM as interim arrangement,” she said.