Jaya's niece Deepa to announce her political roadmap on Feb 24

Jaya's niece Deepa to announce her political roadmap on Feb 24
Announcing her intention to take the political plunge, Deepa Jayakumar, niece of the late Tamil Nadu Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa, today said she would disclose her political roadmap on February 24, the birth anniversary of 'Amma'. Deepa talked to the media after scores of AIADMK cadre thronged her residence here and appealed to her to assume a leading role.

Days after announcing that she will make a declaration on her political entry on the birth centenary of AIADMK founder MGR today, she merely said she was all set for the political plunge. However, she did not disclose if she would start a new political party or join any other party. "So far there have been questions expressing doubts if I would enter politics or not, if I would engage in people's work and whether I will be afraid and run away (from political arena)," she said.

"To end such things, I make it clear on this day (MGR's birth centenary) that I will enter politics, do people's work and I desire that," she told reporters at a crowded press conference, adding, she was "interested in politics. I am waiting to work for the people." She said she was all set to undertake a state-wide tour to solicit the views of her supporters, a section of whom are in the ruling AIADMK and the public before disclosing her plans on February 24.

"I have decided to enter politics. It will be made known on February 24 on the birth anniversary of J Jayalalithaa, the landmark day. I don't think there is any other day which will be best suited." "The work left my Amma should be continued, her name and reputation should be guarded," she said, adding she was waiting to make public her landmark announcement on a landmark day.

Asked whether she and AIADMK General Secretary V K Sasikala should join forces and prevent a break-up in the party, Deepa said, "I have no opinion," adding, she was only considering the aspirations of the cadre and taking into account "Makkal Sakthi (people's power)". She said she was being given suggestions and recommendation to "join the AIADMK or start a new political party and there are also other views which I would like to analyse and take a decision."

She said she was asked by the cadre to take up a role in the AIADMK. Asked if Sasikala invited her to join the AIADMK, she said, "No. I can only give a direct answer and that is a no." Answering a question if she will have the support of Sasikala if she chose to join the AIADMK, she said, "It is premature to talk about this...my course of action has to be decided."

On her view in a petition in the high court for a probe into the circumstances surrounding Jayalalithaa's death, she said, "I did not have suspicion. If such doubts had cropped up, I may have been a party (in the case)."

Asked if she concurred with the allegation that AIADMK has been "taken over" by Sasikala and her family, Deepa said, "That is the view of a larger section of people today. But this is not my view. I am only talking about my course of action."

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