AIADMK dismisses Sasikala’s talk of return to politics

There is no link between her and the party, says Munusamy

The AIADMK on Monday reacted adversely to the audio calls made recently by the party’s former interim general secretary, V.K. Sasikala, to her supporters on her return to active politics.

Deputy coordinator K.P. Munusamy said, “There is no link between her and the party. She is no longer in the party. Some persons are propping her up with a view to creating confusion in the AIADMK that is functioning well as the principal Opposition party.”

He was responding to questions from journalists at Veppannahalli in Krishnagiri district on Ms. Sasikala’s observations that she would come back soon to run the affairs of the “party”.

According to one account of the audio clip that did the rounds on social media in the last few days, she assured her supporter that she would set right the situation in the party and lead it on the path shown by former Chief Minsters M.G. Ramachandran and Jayalalithaa.

Mr. Munusamy, an MLA now, contended that “not even a single worker” of the AIADMK would heed her words, as “one-and-a-half crore workers and functionaries at various levels are doing their best to safeguard the interests of the party”. He added that “if the soul of Amma [Jayalalithaa] is to rest in peace, it would be better for her [Ms. Sasikala] to stay away [from politics].”

‘Cohesive leadership’

Another AIADMK veteran S. Semmalai said there was no need for her to be concerned about the state of affairs in the party as “she has nothing to do with it”. He said the leadership had been working “cohesively”.

It was learnt that Ms. Sasikala made about 125 such calls during the last one week as she was not in a position to send written replies to letters that she had received from her supporters. A month before the Assembly election in April, Ms. Sasikala announced that she would “step aside” from politics.

She did not assign any reason. But during her journey from Bengaluru to Chennai on February 8 and 9 after serving a four-year sentence in a case of corruption, she went on record that she would plunge into politics again.

During the seat-sharing negotiations in late February, the BJP reportedly made an unsuccessful attempt to bring the AMMK, headed by Ms. Sasikala’s nephew T.T.V. Dhinakaran, under the AIADMK-led coalition. A former Minister said the idea was to set aside 18 seats for the AMMK, but the camp led by former Chief Minister Edappadi K. Palaniswami was against any relationship with the AMMK. Eventually, the AMMK contested on its own and did not secure a single seat, but it spoiled the chances of the AIADMK and its allies in 21 constituencies. The AMMK secured 2.35% of the votes polled.

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