Sasikala Natarajan (born 1957) is an Indian politician, known as a close aide of Jayalalithaa, the late Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu. She is the general secretary of All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (AIADMK), the political party which Jayalalithaa headed from 1989 until her death in 2016.
During Jayalalithaa's three tenures as Chief Minister, Sasikala is alleged to have wielded absolute power behind the scenes. She was arrested along with Jayalalithaa on 7 December 1996 and was remanded to judicial custody for 30 days in connection with the Colour TV scam.
Sasikala was born in 1957 to Vivekanandan and Krishnaveni, a family from Thiruthuraipoondi. She is a school dropout.Later the family moved to Mannargudi. Her wedding with M. Natarajan happened with the blessings and in front of DMK Chief Dr. M Karunanidhi Her husband M. Natarajan was working as a Public Relations officer in Tamil Nadu government on a temporary basis. He was working closely with the then District Collector of Cuddalore V S Chandralekha, IAS, who in turn was very close to the then Tamil Nadu CM M. G. Ramachandran.After her husband lost his job in government, she was forced to sell or pawn jewels due to income issue. Sasikala has started an Video renting business and also ran Video recording services for family functions like marriages
Meeting with Jayalalithaa
In the early 1980s, Natarajan requested V. S. Chandralekha, who was then the District Collector of South Arcot, to introduce his wife Sasikala to Jayalalithaa, who was then the Propaganda Secretary of the Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam, for recording of party functions. Sasikala and Jayalalithaa gradually became very close.
2011 Expulsion from AIADMK
On 19 December 2011, Jayalalithaa expelled her long-time close aide Sasikala Natarajan and 13 others including Sasikala's husband Natarajan and their relatives, including T. T. V. Dhinakaran and Jayalalithaa's disowned foster son V N Sudhakaran and relieved them from the AIADMK.
=== After Jayalalithaa's death ===it
After Jayalalithaa's death in December 2016, the AIADMK general council unanimously appointed Sasikala as the party's general secretary.