'Mannargudi mafia' back in action? A common man can lead AIADMK, says Jayalalithaa's confidante Sasikala's husband

Tamil Nadu CM O Panneerselvam on Tuesday held discussions with his predecessor J Jayalalithaa's confidante Sasikala Natarajan.

'Mannargudi mafia' back in action? A common man can lead AIADMK, says Jayalalithaa's confidante Sasikala's husband

Chennai: After Jayalalithaa's demise, M Natarajan, Sasikala's husband is said to be back in action.

To be noted is the fact that he was not allowed to enter the Poes Garden residence of 'Amma' in recent times.

As per India Today, Sasikala's husband was quoted by some media outlets as saying "a common man can lead the party".

He was a public relations officer in the government and was imprisoned by the Jayalalithaa government in 2012.

In political circles he is said to have been written off.

The media house said that along with him, Sasikala's brother Divahaaran, sister-in-law J Ilavarasi, her son Vivek, sister Priya, nephews Venkitesh and Mahadevan, and her niece's husband Sivakumar are back in Jayalalithaa's residence, Veda Nilayam.  

They were called the 'Mannargudi mafia' - a clique accused of being the power behind the throne.

Mannargudi is a small town in Tiruvarur district where Sasikala hails from.

They are said to be close-knit group of relatives and associates and allegedly took hold of important positions in government machinery taking advantage of Sasikala’s closeness to Jayalalithaa.

Jayalalithaa and Sasikala had fallen out twice for alleged anti-party activities.

She and some of her family members had been expelled from the party and asked to leave Poes Garden residence.

But they patched up soon.

On the other hand, India Today quoted one of the senior-most leaders in the party as saying, "Natarajan's plan is to claim Amma's legacy by telling everyone that her last wish was to make Sasikala her successor. But it's not going to happen." 

Meanwhile, Tamil Nadu Chief Minister O Panneerselvam on Thursday held discussions with his predecessor Jayalalithaa's confidante Sasikala for about two hours at the Poes Garden residence of the departed AIADMK supremo.

Panneerselvam did not speak to the waiting media after emerging from the meeting.

Also Read: Jayalalithaa's journey - From queen of celluloid to 'Amma'

He was accompanied by senior ministers of his Cabinet including C Srinivasan and Edappady K Palaniswamy and P Thangamani.

It was not known what was discussed in the meeting which comes in the wake of the death of Jayalalithaa on December 5.

AIADMK has to now select a replacement to lead the party even as Panneerselvam has taken over the reins of administration following Jayalalithaa's demise.

Speculations are rife that Sasikala might be given a significant role in AIADMK, as per PTI.

Sasikala had even performed the last rites of the former Tamil Nadu CM on Tuesday when she was laid to rest at the Marina beach with full state honours. 

(With Agency inputs)


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