Was Jayalalithaa afraid to nominate a successor as the successor might go ahead leaving her behind?
Jayalalithaa, the iron lady of India had been a struggler throughout, be it her personal or political life. After presiding over the party in 1989, her decision to form an alliance with congress in 1991 led to a sweeping victory crowning her as the chief minister.
The grand gala wedding of her foster son in 1996 landed her into trouble. A disproportionate assets case that was snapped against her and her best friend Sasikala Natrajan sent them to jail. For the first time Jayalalithaa had to appoint someone in her place to carry out the governance of the state.
But why did she choose O. Pannerselvam over others?
The question arises as to why Pannerselvam. He never matched her charisma. For that matter none of the AIADMK members could match the charm of Jayalalithaa. Jayalalithaa might have feared that if her party went to polls without her being the leader, it could sabotage her hopes of coming back to power. She never wanted to lose grip over the party. Hence she would have thought of a loyalist who can act as a proxy working on her commands. Pannerselvam outweighed others in displaying his loyalty and obedience to her. Moreover Pannerselvam had been a very senior member of the party. He joined the party when MGR split it from DMK to start ADMK in 1973.
What about the Mannargudi Team?
Sasikala would have been her natural choice to the throne had she not lost confidence of Amma. Sasikala and her team were ousted by Jayalalithaa for their interference in the government and party. Jayalalithaa might have feared that the group were conspiring against her, would take over her house and party throwing her away. The fact that most of the servants in Veda nilayam and the members of AIADMK were in one way or the other reinstates it. It was only after Sasikala rendered an apology declaring her kin as persona non grata that she was admitted back into the party and Poise Garden.
What after Jayalalithaa-Did she not think of it?
Did Jayalalithaa not envisage the party’s condition after her? Jayalalithaa always wanted to be and remain as no.1 in the party since he took over. It was quite obvious by the way she never groomed anyone for no.2 position. Sasikala’s betrayal would also have made her indifferent to the party after her situation. Her imprisonment, her failing health condition and with no blood relatives to carry forward her legacy, she would have thought that the party and people of Tamilnadu would decide her successor after she was gone.
Alas, she was gone and the Mannargudi mafia hijacked the party from her.