Will Sasikala have a second innings in AIADMK?

File photo of V K Sasikala

Chennai: Deposed AIADMK leader V K Sasikala might be in prison, but her influence in the AIADMK does not seem to have waned. Lately, there are hints suggesting that she might return to the top post of the party after being released from the jail.

Minister Sellur K Raju today said very soon there will come a time when the AIADMK will be led by women.

“Women have guided the party efficiently on a par with men,” he said while speaking during an event in Madurai today. Apparently, he was referring to former Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa and her close aide Sasikala.

It may be noted that in a recent interview Raju referred to Sasikala as ‘Chinnamma’.

When he was asked why he was still referring to her like that since she was expelled from the party, he replied that she will always be Chinnamma. He further said she was ousted from the party due to the circumstances that prevailed back then.

When asked if Sasikala will be back in the AIADMK after serving jail sentence and lead the party, he said, “That will be based on the situation at the time.”

The recent revelation about the meeting between Deputy Chief Minister O Panneerselvam and AMMK founder T T V Dhinakaran had already created political ripples in the State and now this statement from a Minister has also raised several questions. In a recent interview, Dhinakaran said soon AIADMK will be merged with his party.

Sasikala, now in a Bengaluru prison serving a four-year sentence in the disproportionate assets case, was removed from the post of party general secretary in September last year after the Panneerselvam-led rebel faction merged with Chief Minister Edappadi K Palaniswami’s group.

A few days ago, Panneerselvam said she was no longer a member of the party as her membership was not renewed.

Sasikala’s advocate Raja Senthur Pandian has submitted a petition before the Election Commission that is hearing the petition moved by K C Palanisamy challenging the decision to abolish the general secretary’s post.

“In the petition, we have mentioned Sasikala as AIADMK general secretary. We want the election to be held for the post of general secretary and the Election Commission itself should hold it,’ he had told reporters after submitting the petition.

Balasubramani Muniyandi