On February 5, O. Panneerselvam announced he would step down as CM and V. K. Sasikala, General Secretary of AIADMK would replace him. Here are five things you need to know about Tamil Nadu’s new CM.
Tamil Nadu’s Third Female CM
She is Tamil Nadu’s third female chief minister after V.N. Janaki (MGR’s widow) in 1987 and Jayalalithaa in 2001. She was born into a modest family in Thiruthuraipoondi on January 29th, 1956 and ran a video rental store in Mylapore. She is fondly referred to as ‘Chinamma’.
No Political Experience
She has no previous political experience and has only been the general secretary of the party since the past month-and-a-half. According to the constitution, she has to get elected to the Assembly as a legislator within six months after being sworn in as CM.
A Close Aide of Jayalalithaa
She was a close aide of former Tamil Nadu CM, Jayalalithaa, inspite of being removed from her residence twice. She met the late former CM in 1982 after being introduced to her by her husband, M Natarajan, then a government public relations officer. They moved in with her in 1988. Sasikala continues to live in Number 81, Veda Nilayam, Poes Garden and even arrived in Jayalalithaa’s car when O. Panneerselvam, announced her name for legislature party leader.
She has a number of cases against her. In 1996, the Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam government accused Jayalalithaa, Sasikala and two others of amassing disproportionate assets to the tune of Rs 66 crores. They even spent 21 days in jail before they were let out on bail. The case is currently up for appeal. She is also expected to stand trial in a (Foreign Exchange Regulations Act) FERA case. Although she has been discharged in two cases, the Court refuses to discharge her from three other FERA cases for violating foreign exchange regulations in the 1990s.
There is a Petition to Stop Her from Being CM
There are many people who don’t believe Sasikala should head the government. One such petition— ‘Dissolve TN govt and Stop Sasikala from becoming Tamilnadu CM !!’ by already has 22,941 supporters.