A host of senior AIADMK functionaries on 18 December urged former Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa's aide Sasikala Natarajan to take over as Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu. They also asked Ms Natarajan to take on the mantle of both the party.
Days after the death of Jayalalithaa, top AIADMK leaders, including Chief Minister O Panneerselvam and Lok Sabha Deputy Speaker M Thambidurai had urged Sasikala to become the party General Secretary, a post held by Jayalalithaa all her life.
Jayalalithaa Peravai, a wing of the ruling AIADMK, had earlier in the day passed a resolution urging Sasikala Natarajan to become both party general secretary and Chief Minister by contesting from RK Nagar constituency in Chennai, which was represented by late Jayalalithaa.
Peravai Secretary R B Udhayakumar who is also the Tamil Nadu Revenue Minister, handed over the resolution titled "Thai Thanta Varam," (Sasikala is a boon granted by Amma) to Ms Natarajan, urging her to take the responsibilities of both the party and the government.
"Besides guarding AIADMK, Chinnamma should fight the RK Nagar bypoll (now vacant due to the death of Jayalalithaa) and assume responsibility as Chief Minister, and lead the Amma's government," Mr Udhayakumar told reporters.
Information Minister Kadambur Raju and Endowments Minister Sevoor S Ramachandran, who are also Peravai functionaries, were among 50 Peravai members who called on Ms Natarajan, along with Udhaya Kumar.
Party cadres led by Tirupur Rural District Secretary, Udumalai K Radhakrishnan, the Housing Minister, also made a similar demand.
He said "we requested Chinnamma to guard 1.5 crore AIADMK workers by becoming the party General Secretary and the over seven crore people of Tamil Nadu by becoming Chief Minister."
Mr Radhakrishan said a resolution passed in this regard was handed over to Ms Natarajan.
Senior leaders and district level cadres visited the Poes Garden residence of Jayalalithaa where Ms Natarajan continues to live and gave her copies of resolutions adopted at their party units.
Meanwhile, the expelled AIADMK MP Sasikala Pushpa told ANI that "the people of Tamil Nadu suspect Natarajan to have done something in Amma's death" and demanded justice.
--with agency inputs
TN ppl suspect Sasikala Natarajan & her family might have done something in Amma's death; need justice: Sasikala Pushpa, Expelled AIADMK MP— ANI (@ANI_news) December 19, 2016