These words clearly sum up the astonishing rise-and-rise of Sasikala Natarajan.
All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (AIADMK) general secretary VK Sasikala is all set to take over as the 12th Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu.
Chief minister O Panneerselvam proposed her name and was seconded by the party MLAs at the party headquarters.
Sasikala will be the third woman Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu after Janaki Ramachandran and J Jayalalithaa. Here is a quick tour of what we know about this political ‘dark horse’. In 1995, Jayalalithaa was accused of misusing state resources to fund the wedding of Sasikala’s nephew. Right from his PRO days in the seventies, Natarajan built a rapport with Tamil groups and major political parties that will now help in further stabilising Sasikala’s position in the party and government.
Following Jayalalithaa’s death on December 5 past year, talks were doing the rounds that some of the officials hand-picked by the AIADMK leader and appointed to key positions could be moved out. Interestingly, DMK Chief M Karunanidhi came to bless the married couple.
She will now meet Governor Vidyasagar Rao to stake her claim to form the government. Her husband had lost his job at that time, and her whole family is facing financial struggles. “The disintegration of the AIADMK had begun”. “She can hope to gain by tapping the votes of the dominant Thevar community to which she belongs”, said a party MLA.
DMK compares Sasikala’s elevation to that of Rabri Devi in 1997.
The outrage has been centered on the fact that Sasikala has never fought an election and till Jayalalithaa’s death was nearly an outsider in state politics having held no major ranks in either AIADMK or the government. Sasikala and Jayalalithaa gradually became very close and she followed the latter like a shadow and was often called “Chinnamma”. The allies who won on the two leaves symbol, MJK, Kongu Ilaignar Peravai and Mukkaluthur Pulipadai, also endorsed her candidature, though the MLAs were not present.
Last month, entire Tamil Nadu was on the edge over SC-imposed ban on the state’s favourite bull-fighting sport (Jallikattu).
Reports suggest that Panneerselvam eased them out on suspicion that they were taking instructions from Sasikala.
Sasikala was first introduced to her mentor Amma in 1984 as the owner of a video-recording company that was interested in shooting Jayalalithaa’s public meetings.