Tamil Nadu

Jayalalithaa’s niece ‘open to joining politics’

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Deepa Jayakumar expresses shock at seeing her brother performing last rites with V.K. Sasikala.

On a day of hectic activity on the political front, Deepa Jayakumar, niece of former Chief Minister Jayalalithaa, created ripples by giving several interviews.

In these, she laid in the open her desire to enter politics if the people so willed it and staked a claim to being Jayalalithaa’s heir, besides expressing shock at seeing her brother, Deepak, performing the last rites with V.K. Sasikala.

With the changed circumstances, she seemed to have shifted from her position as stated in an interview she gave to The Hindu some weeks ago, soon after former Chief Minister Jayalalithaa had the tracheostomy.

“It was in 2002, when I met her after many years there was a big difference between the previous attempts and that time when I met her. I had been trying for many years to meet her and revive the relationship. But every time she knew that I was there to meet her, she immediately met me. At one point of time I stopped even trying to meet her, as I wasn’t even allowed to enter the road,” she said.

‘Things soured after 96’

“It was after 1996 things began to go wrong. I had only her landline number because she had insisted that we call her on the landline. She tried to talk on landline,” Ms. Deepa said. Even on Saturday, this part of the story was pretty constant.

Ms. Deepa said she and her brother Deepak went to see her once in 2004, and were even allowed inside, but could not meet her. “We were told that she was resting.”

On Saturday, she said that she was quite shocked to see him perform the last rites along with her aunt’s confidante, V.K. Sasikala. She said she tried everything to meet Jayalalithaa.

“I have written hundreds of letters, but they did not reach her. She knew what was happening in our lives till 2004. We have been living in the house in T. Nagar for 40 years. My mom was ill with cancer and I was living in the UK. I don’t know if she knew that my mom was sick. Even my mother had been trying to meet her.”

Key divergence

The key divergence in her position is when she answers the question: Would you be interested in being Jayalalithaa's political heir? On Saturday, she told news channels and websites that she was ready to enter politics and join the AIADMK if the people wanted, but earlier she was non-committal.

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Printable version | Jan 24, 2020 5:12:56 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/tamil-nadu/Jayalalithaa%E2%80%99s-niece-%E2%80%98open-to-joining-politics%E2%80%99/article16792750.ece

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