Press "Enter" to skip to content

Wave of change in TN govt, Jaya's trusted advisor Sheela Balakrishnan and others shown the door

In what has sent shockwaves across the state of Tamil Nadu, three top bureaucrats of the state government have reportedly been asked to resign from their positions at the Chief Minister’s office. According a source close to the CMO, the bureaucrats, Sheela Balakrishnan and KN Venkataramanan were asked to step down by CM O Panneerselvam. The Chief Minister’s Secretary Ramalinga too has been asked to step down.

While reports suggest that Sheela Balakrishnan has already put in her papers, the resignation is awaited from Venkataramanan. Ramalingam, Secretary to Chief Minister is a serving officer.

All the three officers were known to be close to Jayalalithaa.

A source close to one of the officer asked to leave told TNM, “The CM was acting under instructions from Poes Garden. This came as a shocking move.” Just last week, few leaders in the AIADMK had claimed that ‘Sasikala would make some big moves soon.’

62-year-old Sheela Balakrishnan, a native of Thiruvananthapuram in Kerala, belongs to the 1976 IAS batch. She began her career as an assistant collector (training) in Thanjavur, Tamil Nadu, in 1977. 

She was considered a trusted of late Chief Minister Jayalalithaa. In December 2012, the CM chose Sheela Balakrishnan as Chief Secretary over her husband R Balakrishnan, although he was the most senior IAS office in the state and was next in line for the job.

Sheela continued as Chief Secretary until her retirement in March 2014.  Considered Jayalalithaa’s “eyes and ears”, she was made advisor to the government following her retirement.

During Jayalalithaa’s hospitalisation in Chennai prior to her death, Sheela Balakrishnan was considered the point person between O Panneerselvam, the Deputy Chief Minister and Jayalalithaa. Many even suggested that in Jayalalithaa’s absence, it was Sheela who was practically running the government.

KN Venkatraman, a 1987 batch IAS officer, who retired as Principal Secretary (III) in 2012 was given a five-year extension of service in May that year. His service was expected to end in May this year.

Source: The News Minute