Tamil Nadu

Sasikala’s readmission to party will not happen: Palaniswami

Chief Minister and AIADMK co-coordinator Edappadi K. Palaniswami on Tuesday made it clear that V.K. Sasikala, the jailed aide of former Chief Minister Jayalalithaa, and the party’s former interim general secretary, was no longer a member of the party. She is expected to be released from a Bengaluru jail later this month on completion of her term in a disproportionate assets case.

In an interaction with reporters in New Delhi after he met Prime Minister Narendra Modi, the Chief Minister ruled out the possibility of Sasikala being taken back in the party. “It [Sasikala’s readmission] will not happen 100%. Based on a clear decision, the AIADMK has been functioning well. There is no difference of opinion [within the party],” he asserted.

In September 2017, when the AIADMK factions headed by Mr.Palaniswami and Deputy Chief Minister O. Panneerselvam, held a meeting of the general council of the unified party, a resolution was adopted cancelling Sasikala’s appointment as interim general secretary made on December 29, 2016. But, she was not expelled from the party.

However, when the distribution of membership cards began in October 2018, deputy coordinator K.P. Munusamy stated that Jayalalithaa’s former aide was not a member of the party as her name had not been added to the rolls of the party members. Mr. Pannerselvam, also the party coordinator, too had observed that she was not a “primary member” of the party. During the interaction with the media in New Delhi, the Chief Minister, accompanied by Fisheries Minister D. Jayakumar and former Lok Sabha Deputy Speaker M. Thambi Durai, said several members from her camp had joined the AIADMK. “Across the State, there are only a few who are still with her,” Mr.Palaniswami contended.

Denies BJP pressure

The Chief Minister dismissed reports of the BJP exerting pressure on the AIADMK for accommodating Sasikala and emphasised that his meetings in New Delhi had to do “only with the progress of Tamil Nadu and allocation of adequate funds for providing compensation of affected farmers.”

To a query whether he discussed with Mr.Modi and Amit Shah political matters including seat-sharing arrangement for the Assembly poll, Mr. Palaniswami replied that there was “no discussion on politics.” Besides, “this is not the appropriate time. Still, there is enough time for the election to be held,” he said. As for the question on the number of seats being demanded by the BJP, he reiterated that the issue would be decided only after the announcement of poll schedule.

On the BJP’s efforts for the party growth in the State, the AIADMK co-coordinator said each party would like to grow further. No one would want some other party to grow. “When I run a party, I would like my party to capture power. This is how a national party would talk. Each party has got a policy. It would make statements based on the policy. Coalition is different from policy. There is nothing wrong in all parties aspiring to capture power. It is for this purpose that the parties are being run.”

Jaya mausoleum

Meanwhile, the AIADMK has called a meeting of secretaries of the district units and Ministers on the morning of January 22 to discuss preparations for the inauguration of the renovated Jayalalithaa mausoleum, scheduled for January 27.

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Printable version | Feb 26, 2021 4:48:22 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/tamil-nadu/sasikalas-readmission-to-party-will-not-happen-palaniswami/article33613328.ece

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