VK Sasikala, who was appointed to the top post in the AIADMK on Thursday, formally took charge as its general secretary in Chennai today.
Sasikala broke down while addressing her party supporters and senior functionaries.
She said, “Amma is not with us now but our party will rule here for the next 100 years. My life is Amma, she struggled for 75 days but God called his loved child to him… In those days Indira Gandhi was the only woman leader in politics but Amma broke the tradition and made history. For the rest of my life I will live for my party and the crores of people. Amma’s dream will continue for Tamil Nadu.”
— ANI (@ANI) December 31, 2016
Hundreds of party workers were present the AIADMK headquarters to welcome Sasikala. The AIADMK headquarters at Royapettah in Chennai had been spruced up for the occasion with a dais being set up near the MGR statue to facilitate Sasikala to pay tributes to the party founder before taking charge.
In keeping with the Dravidian political ethos of paying tributes at memorials of leaders before key events, Sasikala placed a wreath and paid floral tributes to Jayalalithaa at her burial site in the MGR Memorial at Marina beach on Friday evening.
She also laid wreaths and paid floral tributes at the memorials of MG Ramachandran and Dravidian ideologue and former Tamil Nadu chief minister CN Annadurai.
Amid chants of “compassionate mother Chinnamma” by her partymen, Sasikala showered flower petals on Jayalalithaa’s burial site.
With moist eyes, she placed a copy of the party resolution appointing her as the AIADMK general secretary at the burial site.
After silently praying for a while, she went around the site during which she paused and touched it twice as a mark of respect.
On her arrival at the MGR Memorial, Sasikala was received by AIADMK presidium chairman E Madusudanan, Tamil Nadu Chief Minister O Panneerselvam, Lok Sabha Deputy Speaker and senior party leader M Thambidurai and state ministers, including Dindigul C Srinivasan and Edappadi K Palanisami.
They accompanied her as she paid her respects to the late leaders.
Party MPs, MLAs former ministers and legislators were also present on the occasion even as a large number of AIADMK cadre thronged the place.
Earlier, former Puducherry chief minister and chief of the All India NR Congress (AINRC) N Rangaswamy met Sasikala at her Poes Garden residence and congratulated her on being appointed as the AIADMK chief.