15/12/2016 12:45 PM IST | Updated 15/12/2016 1:58 PM IST

It's Official. 'Chinamma' Sasikala Natarajan To Be Head Of AIADMK

This comes after several appeals from AIADMK workers for Sasikala to take charge.

Sasikala Natarajan in a file photo.

After much speculation over the role of Sasikala after former AIADMK supremo J Jayalalithaa's death, it has been officially announced that she will head the party.

NDTV quoted AIADMK spokesperson Ponnaiyan as saying, "It is the desire of the entire party... Sasikala has functioned as the conscience of Amma."

But Sasikala is said to be keeping a "total silence on the issue", Ponnaiyan added.

Sasikala, who has been Jayalalithaa's long-time friend and political aide, is referred to as Chinamma while Jayalalithaa was fondly called Amma. After Jayalalithaa's death, it was predicted by many that Sasikala would take her place.

The news comes a day after party functionaries stepped up pressure on her.

Party functionaries from districts including Tiruchirappalli, Sivaganga, Ariyalur, Kanyakumari, Tiruvarur called on her at the Poes Garden residence of Jayalalithaa and urged her to guide the party at this "critical juncture after Amma's passing away," the party said here.

Functionaries from several party wings like the youth wings for young men and women (Ilaignar Pasarai and Ilam Pengal Pasarai) and Information Technology Wing made the same demand.

Leaders of alliance parties including CK Tamilarasan-led Republican Party of India, and legislator S Karunas-led Mukkalathor Puli Padai met and requested Sasikala to take on the top job of the AIADMK.

In a courtesy call, senior CPI leader Tha Pandian too visited her.

After the demise of Jayalalithaa on December 5, top party leaders including party presidium chairman E Madusudanan, party treasurer and Chief Minister O Panneerselvam, and Lok Sabha Deputy Speaker M Thambidurai had urged her take on the top post and lead the party.

Meanwhile, the four-member legislature wing of the opposition AIADMK in Puducherry also urged Sasikala to take over the leadership of the party.

"She is most competent and possesses all the merits and qualities of being the General Secretary of the AIADMK and this would also be in keeping with the plea of the party cadres," A Anbalagan, who chaired the legislature party meeting, told reporters at Puducherry.

The meeting through a resolution made an appeal to Sasikala to take over the reins of the party leadership, he said.

Anbalagan said they had earlier met 'Chinnamma' at Chennai and personally urged her to take over the reins of the party.

(with PTI inputs)