Coming to politics as AIADMK under EPS-OPS lost power, says Sasikala

Sasikala also said she will play the role of a mother in uniting the party by bringing together as 'one family'
Last Updated 30 June 2021, 14:11 IST

Ousted AIADMK interim general secretary V K Sasikala on Wednesday revealed that she decided to “step aside” from politics before the April 6 elections only because the current leadership of the party felt it would retain the government if she remained away from the limelight.

However, Sasikala said, Edappadi K Palaniswami and O Panneerselvam lost the elections and hence she was determined to make a comeback and take over the party. Striking a conciliatory note, Sasikala also said she will play the role of a mother in uniting the party by bringing together “warring brothers” as “all are one family.”

In her latest telephonic conversations, the former AIADMK leader reached out to three former MLAs – all disqualified in 2017 for siding with her nephew T T V Dhinakaran – and now with AMMK, which is beset with desertions. She also spoke to three other party cadres from different regions of the state making it clear that she would undertake a state-wide tour to meet cadres once the Covid-19 lockdown was lifted in Tamil Nadu.

“I announced that I am stepping aside from politics because they (EPS-OPS) felt they could form the government again without me. But now we have lost Amma’s government…. I will come for sure. I will start meeting cadres soon,” she told a cadre from Chidambaram in Cuddalore district.

In his reaction to Sasikala’s outreach to cadres, Palaniswami told reporters that the AIADMK was not bothered about her telephonic conversations as she was not a member of the party. “Let her even talk to 100 or 1,000 people, we are not bothered. We have 1.5 crore cadre behind us,” he said.

Speaking to Dr K Kathirkamu, a former MLA from Periyakulam (SC) constituency, Sasikala said she had rejected a proposal mooted by then-Speaker P Dhanapal to disqualify 11 MLAs, including OPS, after they rebelled against her. It was after OPS’ rebellion against her, Sasikala got EPS elected as the leader of the AIADMK Legislature Party.

“I got the call while on my way to Bengaluru (to surrender before authorities at Parappana Agrahara prison) but I told them not to disqualify anyone as they are also part of AIADMK. I told them I can set things right in three months and OPS has problems only with me. But I was shocked when 18 MLAs were disqualified for (supporting TTV),” she said.

After Sasikala went to jail, OPS and EPS patched up, removed Dhinakaran from the AIADMK and disqualified 18 MLAs for putting their weight behind the rebel leader. “I never gave into pressure, nor did I rush into decisions. I always made mature decisions. We have now lost our government. I know what the cadres want, and I will come soon,” she said.

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(Published 30 June 2021, 14:11 IST)

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