Though it is shocking, it is true. Whispers in the power circles is that Sasikala, aide and confidante of Jayalalitha for more than two decades has retained her forte. It was almost evident that Amma was cracking the whip on the Mannargudi Mafia which has spread its tentacles throughout the state. The tentacles of the MM cartel were so powerful that officials who were entrusted with the task of releasing the Tamil Nadu administration from the web of the MM cartel were perplexed as to cut which tentacle of the octopus.
News spread among journalistic circles that Sasikala’s tiff with Amma has reached a boiling point and Amma has made it clear that Sasikala should remain as her personal aide, without any role in the administration. The whisper was strengthened when Sasikala made an untimely exit from the Poes garden to her close relative’s house. Sasikala’s sudden exit fuelled rumours that Amma had made Sasikala persona non grata. But, in the evening Sasikala was back in Poes Garden as usual. But whether Sasikala is wielding the same clout with Jayalalitha – making policy decisions as to who should be appointed to where – is anybody’s guess.
Senior bureaucrats and Police officers who were jittery following Amma’s diatribe against the MM cartel heaved a sigh of relief following the re-entry of Sasikala into garden. But it was after this news that "CM's deputy Secretary Ramalingam has been relieved from his duties", that rattlled the powerful community in the state bureaucracy.
This news reached the man of the moment Ramalingam when he was inside Poes Garden, but the order was not served to him immediately as it happens in other cases. Sources say it took several hours for the officials to even serve the orders. (Which obviously did not reach him at all) But the inside story is it was a deliberate attempt to delay orders and there was hectic lobbying underway to save Ramalingam from being booted out.
Whispers doing rounds in the corridors of Fort St George is that senior bureaucrats from an influential community worked overtime to ensure that Ramalingam stays in CMO. Sources also say, IG intelligence Thamarai Kannan was shrewd enough to convience Amma after she decided to chuck Ramalingam out.
The rosy picture given by Thamarai Kannan was that Ramalingam, a Deputy Secretary in the Chief Minister’s office - who actually is the eyes and ears of Sasikala - is a most loyal person. Ramalingam who was asked to go on long leave was asked to re-join duty as of today – Friday 16 December 2011.
Fort St George sources say Ramalingam, who is serving as a Deputy Secretary in the Chief Minister’s office is the person who is nominated by Chinnamma to keep a tab on the movements and developments in the CM’s office.
Following the inputs given to Jayalalitha about the clout of the MM cartel, she chose to weed out the MM nominees. Officers who were rejoicing about the clipping of wings of the MM cartel are now having a second thought whether to open their heart or take sides with the MM cartel, which, as of now, appears to be as powerful as it used to be.