The AIADMK crisis: who'll take the party forward?

Sasikala urges MLAs not to miss opportunity to form government

AIADMK general secretary V.K. Sasikala leaving Poes Garden for a meeting with party MLAs, in Chennai on Sunday.  

AIADMK leader V.K. Sasikala, who is engaged in a bitter fight with Chief Minister O Panneerselvam, to stake claim to the late Jayalalithaa’s political legacy, on Sunday told legislators supporting her that this opportunity to form a government should not be missed.

Urging the MLAs (129 of them according to her) to take a pledge to remain united so that they could form the government and unveil a portrait of Jayalalithaa in the Assembly, she said, “We should not allow this chance to slip. The DMK is trying to thwart it (government formation). Someone from their own party told me that they think if the AIADMK does not form the government, then there would be no need to unveil Jayalalithaa’s portrait in the Assembly. I have taken a vow that we should do it.”

In a 20-minute address to the MLAs at the Golden Bay Resort in Koovathur, she claimed that ever since she took over the reins of the party as general secretary, the rivals were jittery. According to her, they made a lot of enquiries about her as to whether she would be pliable. But they were told that she was with Jayalalithaa for 33 years and did not waver an inch from her position even during difficult times and stood behind the late leader like a thalapathi (commander) and hence was qualified to lead the party.

“We are seeing (now) the outcome of that assessment. There is one Panneerselvam. You would have forgotten him. They are trying to compare me with him. He would quietly nod his head, listen to what is dictated. But having been with a lioness (Jayalalithaa), they are now seeing that a little lioness has come. They want to cast a fishing net to capture me, but this lioness would not get trapped,” Ms. Sasikala said.

According to her, the 129 MLAs, who she claimed were with her, are like an ocean. “None can stop you by constructing a check dam. Whatever efforts our rivals take to topple the AIADMK or our government will fail. We don’t have to worry or fear. They will try to influence our families but we shall remain steadfast,” she claimed.

Claiming that when she went to Jayalalithaa’s memorial after becoming general secretary she was drawn to the place by some force, she said, “I took a vow before Amma that I will not abandon this party or government till my death. None can shake us. I will give my life and save this party should the need arise.”

Ms Sasikala said both she and Jayalalithaa had seen the jails in Chennai and Bengaluru and returned to power. “So if someone thinks I can be threatened, it won’t work with me, the same as it did not work with Amma,” she added.

Biggest tribute

The biggest tribute to Jayalalithaa would be the day she forms the government and lead the Cabinet ministers and MLAs to Jayalalithaa’s memorial for a group photo and march to Fort St George to unveil the portrait of the late Chief Minister in the Assembly Hall.

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Printable version | Dec 3, 2020 4:33:45 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/tamil-nadu/Sasikala-urges-MLAs-not-to-miss-opportunity-to-form-government/article17293505.ece

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