Sasikala dumps brother, backs politician nephew

Sasikala dumps brother, backs politician nephew

Sasikala has asked her V K Dhivaharan not to use her picture or name to further his political ambition.

The nephew has beaten the brother in the war to be the political successor of jailed AIADMK leader V K Sasikala.

By asking brother V K Dhivaharan not to use her picture or name to further his political ambition, Sasikala has settled the succession issue in the Mannargudi family, albeit for now.

She has sent a firm message to her family members and supporters that Dhinakaran is her choice to lead the AIADMK faction led by her and that there should be no two opinions about the leadership issue.

Before she surrendered to authorities at the Parapana Agrahara prison in Bengaluru in February last year, Sasikala had handpicked Dhinakaran to head the AIADMK in her absence.

With Chief Minister Edappadi K Palaniswami and O Panneerselvam burying their hatchet, Dhinakaran was sidelined from the AIADMK and he eventually began functioning under Amma Makkal Munnetra Kazhagam (AMMK).

Sasikala's brother Dhivaharan and other family members, who had opposed Dhinakaran, openly criticised him and launched their own party by invoking the jailed leader's name.

With the family feud getting intense, Sasikala stepped in on Friday to quell any impression that she was behind brother Dhivaharan by sending him a legal notice not to use her name in his public utterances.

On Monday, Dhivaharan hit back saying he would not call Sasikala his sister here after and accused Dhinakaran of "orchestrating" the legal notice to have full control of the AMMK.

Differences between Dhivaharan and Dhinakaran came to the public after the former decided to engage the EPS-OPS duo and agree on a compromise formula to counter the latter.

While Dhinakaran was dead opposed to any patch up, Dhivaharan was ready for compromise to "redeem" the family's respect in Tamil Nadu's political arena.

Political analysts told DH that Sasikala has hit two birds with one coin – while she has unequivocally conveyed that Dhinakaran was her choice to fill in her shoes politically, the other message is that she was not ready to accommodate the EPS-OPS duo or the BJP by distancing herself from Dhivaharan.