Controversies surrounding Sasikala after Jayalalithaa's death

AIADMK ruling group revolts against Sasikala

In an attempt to unite the party and retrieve its election symbol, senior members of the ruling AIADMK (Amma), led by Chief Minister Edappadi K. Palaniswami, on Tuesday night revolted against jailed party general secretary V.K. Sasikala and her nephew and deputy general secretary, T.T.V. Dhinakaran. The faction also resolved to keep the latter “completely away” from the affairs of the party and the government.

Emerging from a consultative meeting, held at the Chief Minister’s house on Greenways Road here, Finance Minister D. Jayakumar told journalists that the decision to sideline the Sasikala family was taken in deference to the wishes of the people and the party cadre.

“We had a consultation meeting to take immediate steps to ensure that the party and the government should continue to provide Amma’s [Jayalalithaa’s] golden rule, not just for the remaining four years but forever. The unanimous view and the desire of the 1.5 crore cadre of the AIADMK and the Tamil Nadu people is that the party and the government must be run without the interference of one family, i.e, Mr T.T.V. Dhinakaran’s family,” Mr. Jayakumar said.

He added that the party had decided that the Sasikala family had to be completely sidelined. “There shall be no interference in the affairs of the party and the government. We decided about this and have chosen to inform the people and the cadre,” the Minister said.

Committee to be set up

A committee will be formed to administer the party till a general secretary is elected, he added. The first signs of a revolt against the Sasikala family were seen last week when senior leaders led by Lok Sabha Deputy Speaker M. Thambi Durai and Electricity Minister P. Thangamani met Mr. Dhinakaran and reportedly told him to step down as deputy general secretary.

On Monday night, when Mr. Dhinakaran was out of town allegedly to meet his aunt Sasikala at the Parappana Agrahara prison in Bengaluru, several Ministers met at Mr. Thangamani’s house, with the blessings of the Chief Minister, to chalk out a road map for a possible merger with the AIADMK (Puratchi Thalaivi Amma), headed by former Chief Minister O. Panneerselvam.

The final decision to sideline the Sasikala family was taken hours after Mr. Panneerselvam laid down two conditions for unity: the exit of the general secretary’s family from the party and a probe into the circumstances of Jayalalithaa’s death. However, Mr. Jayakumar denied that pressure from Mr. Panneerselvam had precipitated the rebellion.

“So far as OPS is concerned, he said he was prepared to hold talks with us. We, too, were prepared and welcome his view. Let them come and join us so that the party could be run as a disciplined organisation and we can retrieve the ‘Two Leaves’ symbol. But our decision is a reflection of the feeling of the grassroots workers of the party and the people,” he said.

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Printable version | May 9, 2021 11:32:21 PM |

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