AIADMK General Secretary VK Sasikala was chosen on Sunday by the party’s MLAs as the leader of the legislative party in the Tamil Nadu Assembly. O Panneerselvam, who had taken over as Chief Minister following Jayalalithaa’s death, has also tendered his resignation.
While this virtually guarantees that Sasikala will be Tamil Nadu’s Chief Minister, the deed is not quite done, as the Chief Minister must also be a member of the Assembly. However, the law provides that Sasikala can become the Chief Minister without being a member of the Assembly, provided that she is elected to a seat within six months of being sworn in by the Governor.
According to sources, Sasikala is likely to be sworn in by the Governor on February 7. This would mean that before August, she must contest and win an Assembly by-poll in the state.
As to where she will contest, there is still much speculation, as this is not clear. She could choose to contest from the RK Nagar constituency, where a seat has fallen vacant following the death of Jayalalithaa. However, she may not choose to do so, as the urban constituency is an unpredictable game.
The other option is for a sitting MLA to vacate his or her seat, which Sasikala will then contest. It has been speculated that she is likely to ask an MLA from one of the southern districts to step down, as she has greater chances in the south, with the higher number of Thevar and Gounder votes likely to go in her favour.
Source: The News Minute