Jayalalithaa dead: Sheela Balakrishnan set to become part of TN Cabinet

Sheela Balakrishnan�s expertise is something the party will need like oxygen to pull through the vacuum the AIADMK is said to be in after Jayalalithaa�s death.

Jayalalithaa dead: Sheela Balakrishnan set to become part of TN Cabinet

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Retired Tamil Nadu chief secretary Sheela Balakrishnan is likely to become part of the O. Paneerselvam-led Tamil Nadu Cabinet. She is currently an adviser to Paneerselvam.

Sources said she may even be given the Deputy Chief Minister post since none of the AIADMK ministers have ruled long enough to know protocol or rules. Being an IAS officer and that too one who worked in close proximity with J. Jayalalithaa both for the government and the party, Sheela Balakrishnan’s expertise is something the party will need like oxygen to pull through the vacuum the AIADMK is said to be in after Jayalalithaa’s death.


Balakrishnan hails from Thiruvananthapuram, Kerala and is of the 1976 batch Tamil Nadu cadre. She retired from service in 2014 and took over as adviser to Jayalalithaa. Balakrishnan was the interface via whom Jayalalithaa ran the government this year and is popular among the current AIADMK MLAs. The party’s founder, MG Ramachandran, was also a Malayali.

[caption id="attachment_334025" align="aligncenter" width="650"]Balakrishnan hails from Thiruvananthapuram, Kerala and is of the 1976 batch Tamil Nadu cadre Sheela Balakrishnan hails from Thiruvananthapuram, Kerala and is of the 1976 batch Tamil Nadu cadre[/caption]

While many observers are saying Sasikala Natarajan will be the power behind the throne, a source told NaradaNews.com that Sasikala will not get into party affairs after the fallout with Jaya in 2012. Jayalalithaa had gotten Sasikala Natarajan, her husband M. Natarajan and her clan out of her Poes Garden residence in 2011 after she was told that they were out to usurp the party. Several allegations of corruption by Sasikala’s extended family leading to industries leaving the state, also spurred the former AIADMK chief to snap ties. But the bad times didn’t last long, within 100 days of her eviction, Sasikala was allowed back in without her family. Since then, she has stayed a force at the Poes Garden residence, deciding who met Jayalalithaa and who didn’t, and due to that martinet-like role, she is not acceptable or popular with the party file, said a source.

Reports speculated that given the caste equation, Sasikala, a Thevar from southern Tamil Nadu, or M. Thambidurai, the Delhi-based Gounder leader of the western districts, could take over the party as general secretary. That will allow Paneerselvam the remainder of the term to rule, said the source.