Sasikala's rise to CM was no cakewalk

New leadership: Former Jaya aide has never held a party or govt post

Sasikala's rise to CM was no cakewalk

 From recording videos to taking over the reins of Tamil Nadu, it was not an easy journey for V K Sasikala.

Despite her share in decision-making when Jayalalithaa was alive, people did not consider her anything more than a spectator beside the chief minister, particularly as Sasikala never held any party or government position.

Born in 1957, Sasikala hails from the dominant Thevar community in the ‘rice-belt’ district of Tiruvarur. She was introduced to Jayalalithaa by IAS officer V S Chandralekha in 1982, when Jayalalithaa was the propaganda secretary of the AIADMK.

Running a video-recording business, Sasikala also covered  functions attended by Jayalalithaa and grew close to her over the years. Her husband Natarajan was a government public relations officer in the 1970s and was instrumental in introducing his wife to the then rising star of the AIADMK.

In 1995, when Jayalalithaa, the then chief minister, was criticised for the extravagant wedding of Sasikala’s nephew and her foster son V N Sudhakaran.

The late chief minister sacked Sasikala and 15 of her family members in 2011, and  took back her long-term friend only after Sasikala snapped ties with her family, whom she said was plotting against Jayalalithaa without her knowledge.

Hours after Jayalalithaa’s death, Sasikala’s family virtually held the centre stage by flanking the chief minister’s remains at Rajaji Hall, leaving no doubts over their dominant role in the party.

Sasikala’s husband hospitalised

Sasikala’s husband M Natarajan was on Sunday admitted to a corporate hospital in Chennai with complaints of breathing problem, PTI reports.

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