Sasikala storm hits AIADMK: EPS ready for fight

Chennai: AIADMK joint coordinator and Leader of the Opposition in the Tamilnadu Assembly Edappadi Palaniswami has said there was no room for expelled leader V K Sasikala in the AIADMK.

Talking to reporters after holding a meeting with party district Secretaries here Friday, he said Sasikala, who is the close-aide of late Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa, had already issued a statement before the Assembly polls that she was keeping away from politics.

Asked about the recent audio featuring Sasikala in which she said she would set right the AIADMK and guide it on the path shown by late leaders MGR and Jayalalithaa, he said Sasikala was not in the AIADMK.

On Sasikala hinting of her returning to active politics in the leaked audio conversations which went viral on the social media, Palaniswami said she (Sasikala) has been talking only to the AMMK, formed by her nephew TTV Dhinakaran and not with the AIADMK.

“The audio has been released in an attampt to create a confusion in the AIADMK which has emerged as the strongest opposition (after the April six Assembly polls)…it will not happen,” he added.

The views of the AIADMK cadres was that Ms Sasikala should not be in the party.

Asked about AIADMK Coordinator O Panneerselvam not present in today’s meeting, Palaniswami denied any rift between them and said he (OPS) is busy in shifting to his new house.

“Today being an auspicious day, I came to the party office,” he said, on his first visit to the party office after becoming the Leader of the Opposition.

In the audio clip, Sasikala has dropped enough hints of returning to active politics after the Covid pandemic, at a time when AIADMK had lost power in the recent polls.

In a phone conversation with one of the party cadres, which has gone viral on social media, Sasikala was heard confirming her plans of her return in the politics.

“Do not worry, surely will sort out the party things. All be brave ok. Once corona pandemic is over, I will come,” Sasikala is heard telling the cadre during the phone call.

Sasikala has been staying in the city ever since she was released from Bengaluru prison where she had served four year jail term aftger her conviction in the disproportionate assets case.

After getting treated for Covid, she was discharged from Victoria hospital in Bengaluru on 31 January after she was formally released from prison on 27 January.

In another audio clip, Sasikala was heard as saying that she was disheartened to see the fights in the AIADMK, referring to the apparent rift in the AIADMK between Mr Palaniswami and former Deputy CM O Panneerselvam.

“We will make a decision shortly and come soon. Don’t worry. It hurts to see them fight. We made this party grow with a lot of difficulties so I cannot just watch it go to waste. Very soon I will come. Once corona is over, I will meet everyone,” she had said.

 

NT Bureau