CHENNAI: Premalatha Vijayakant, the wife of DMDK founder Vijayakant, was on Friday elected as the party treasurer, officially strengthening her hold over the party. Though not holding any posts, Premalatha had been the party’s face in several of the poll campaigns and she had addressed many gatherings.
Even national leaders recognised her role. In 2014, after the Lok Sabha polls, in which DMDK allied with BJP, PM Narendra Modi praised her.
“DMDK is the only party where even a last rung cadre can get a high-level posting because of hard work,” Premalatha told reporters citing her own elevation from a mere member of the party to the third highest post. She said she was unaware of this until her husband Vijayakant announced it at the meeting.
A party press release said the high-level meeting chaired by Vijayakant on Friday “unanimously elected” Premalatha as the treasurer, a post that was held by V Elangovan.
The move comes as Vijayakant has been largely inactive in recent months and he has been under medical treatment abroad. She was usually referred to as “Anni” (sister-in-law) in party banners and posters. Her brother LK Sudhish has been the deputy secretary of the party for over seven years now and recently, Premalatha’s elder son Vijaya Prabhakaran is expected to enter politics in the youth wing of the party.
An organising secretary of DMDK told Express, “She has at least 13 years of experience in politics (referring to her membership in the party and poll campaigns) and hence eligible for any post. She is one of the two influential women politicians in TN right now and in fact, she is senior to DMK leader Kanimozhi.” He said Premalatha can fill the absence of Vijayakant during his absence for treatment.
V Elangovan praesidium chairman
V Elangovan, the outgoing treasurer, has been elected as praesidium chairman. R Mohanraj, the outgoing praesidium chairman, has been appointed as propaganda secretary. Vijayakant has been holding the president and general secretary posts of the party he founded in 2005.