Tamil Nadu

AIADMK rebuffs Sasikala’s fresh call for unity

V.K. Sasikala, former interim general secretary of the AIADMK, on Wednesday used the birth anniversary of former Chief Minister Jayalalithaa to make a fresh call for unity to the departed leader’s “genuine followers”. The AIADMK rebuffed it.

Ms. Sasikala, a long-time aide of Jayalalithaa, garlanded the late leader’s portrait at her T. Nagar residence in Chennai. She urged “followers” to achieve a “resounding success” in the Assembly election and expressed her confidence that they would perform well.

She added that she would soon meet the followers and the public.

Her nephew T.T.V. Dhinakaran, who is also the Amma Makkal Munnetra Kazhagam (AMMK) general secretary, was present on the occasion. Later, Mr. Dhinakaran told reporters at his party office that the call was meant for “Amma’s [Jayalalithaa’s] followers”. He was responding to a query whether the call was aimed at bringing the AIADMK and the AMMK together.

Fisheries Minister D. Jayakumar said Ms. Sasikala’s call was relevant to the AMMK and not to the ruling party.

“As far as the AIADMK is concerned, the party is progressing on the right path with the overwhelming support of the people and the party cadre. The unanimous view among all of us is that the MGR [party founder M.G. Ramachandran]-Amma government should blossom again. We are all marching towards this goal,” the Minister said.

‘Wrong information’

Responding to a question on Congress MP Karti Chidambaram’s tweet that the BJP was exerting pressure on the AMMK and Ms. Sasikala to strike an understanding with the AIADMK, Mr. Dhinakaran said the tweet was based on “wrong information”. There had been “no pressure” on him.

When asked whether anti-DMK votes would not get split if the AMMK contested separately, he said a similar argument was raised when he contested the byelection to the R.K. Nagar constituency in December 2017, but he won.

“I am confident that the people will repose their faith in us in our pursuit of the re-establishment of Amma’s government,” he said.

Earlier, R. Sarath Kumar, founder of the All India Samathuva Makkal Katchi, along with his wife Radikaa Sarathkumar and party colleagues, met Ms. Sasikala. Later, he said it was a “courtesy call”.

He pointed out that he knew her, and his party had been an ally of the AIADMK for over 10 years. He wanted Ms. Sasikala to “continue her public service”.

Seeman, leader of the Naam Tamilar Katchi, and Bharathiraja, a veteran filmmaker, also called on Ms. Sasikala.

When asked about the meeting between Mr. Sarath Kumar and Ms. Sasikala, the Minister said the former was still a part of the alliance led by the AIADMK.

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Printable version | Apr 18, 2021 6:11:00 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/tamil-nadu/aiadmk-rebuffs-sasikalas-fresh-call-for-unity/article33928086.ece

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