Chennai: The yearlong golden jubilee celebrations of the AIADMK began on Sunday, and it was marked by a renewed and an open attempt by V K Sasikala, confidante of late party supremo J Jayalalithaa, to get back control of the party by harping on ‘unity’ mantra.
AIADMK top leaders Edappadi K Palaniswami and O Paneerselvam, who garlanded the statue of party leaders MG Ramachandran and J Jayalalithaa at the AIADMK headquarters in Royapettah, Chennai, reportedly discussed strategies with senior leaders to take on Sasikala.
Astone plaque unveiled by Sasikala identifies her as the general secretary of the party, a bold claim by Jayalalithaa’s personal and political aide who is out of jail and making definitive attempts to take over the reins of the party.
On Saturday, she made a publicised visit to the Jayalalithaa memorial along the beach in Chennai after nearly 4.5 years — she had stood at Jayalalithaa’s grave in February 2017 and made a vow to ‘redeem the party’.
Meanwhile, former Minister C Ve Shanmugam has said that the AIADMK is a cadre-based party, and Sasikala has no place in the party.
Shanmugam said that none can weaken the AIADMK and even if several Sasikalas came up with claims of representing the AIADMK, the party would stand as a rock.
Terming her actions as ‘illegal’, AIADMK senior D Jayakumar said Sasikala had no right to hoist the party flag.
‘Sasikala has no right to hoist the AIADMK flag or use our party name and claim herself as general secretary,’ he said.