Sasikala reveals why she 'chose' EPS as Tamil Nadu CM

Made EPS CM only as recognition of support from people in western Tamil Nadu: Sasikala

This is the first time that Sasikala has spoken to the AIADMK cadre in the Edappadi constituency, where CM EPS was elected from

V K Sasikala. Credit: PTI File Photo

Ousted AIADMK interim general secretary V K Sasikala on Sunday spoke to party functionaries from Edappadi, the assembly constituency represented by Opposition Leader Edappadi K Palaniswami, promising to restore the party’s pride like it was under M G Ramachandran and J Jayalalithaa.

Continuing with her telephone diplomacy, Sasikala spoke to Eswaramoorthy and Vadivelu from Edappadi in Salem district, and Balu from Dharmapuri district over the phone and asked them not to worry about the party’s future as she was resolute in getting back to the AIADMK.

In her conversation with Balu, Sasikala said she “chose” her former protégé Palaniswami as leader of the Legislature Party only to recognise and acknowledge “support and love” showered by people of the Western Tamil Nadu or Kongu region towards the AIADMK. The region had always backed AIADMK over the DMK.

“I did not have any other thought then,” she said when Balu expressed his opinion about the party tilting towards “one particular caste.” Sasikala had two weeks back accused Palaniswami of turning the AIADMK into a “one-caste party” giving credence to allegations that only Gounders were being recognized in the party.

Read | AIADMK slams Sasikala for 'audio politics', trying 'divide and rule' tactic

This is the first time that Sasikala has spoken to the AIADMK cadre in the Edappadi constituency. Palaniswami, who was elected as leader of AIADMK Legislative Party with Sasikala’s support, turned against her after she went to serve a four-year prison term.

The close aide of late Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa has so far spoken to over 100 AIADMK cadre in the past few weeks giving ample indications that she has not yet given up her claim over the party’s leadership.

Though Palaniswami and O Panneerselvam have rejected her claims and continue to show the door from the party to those who attend her calls, Sasikala is continuing with her outreach. On Sunday, her team shared audio clips of her conversation with five cadres from different districts.

“Don’t worry. I will come soon. We will bring the party back to its days of Thalaivar (MGR) and Amma (Jayalalithaa). I will not leave cadres in the lurch,” she told Eswaramoorthy, who asked her to take the active plunge into politics and “save” the AIADMK.

Also Read | AIADMK belongs to everyone, not one community: Sasikala attacks Palaniswami

“I will certainly come to Edappadi. Your town is also in Tamil Nadu, right?” she replied to Eswaramoorthy who asked her to visit his hometown.

Sasikala, who spent four years in a Bengaluru jail in a disproportionate assets (DA) case, had on March 3 announced that she was “stepping aside” from politics. However, after the polls, she has categorically said her re-entry into politics was certain and blamed EPS and OPS for the party’s debacle in the April 6 elections.

In her conversation with Vadivelu, Sasikala said she understood the sentiments of party workers and asserted that cadres are behind her. Vadivelu also asked Sasikala to come to Edappadi and address a public meeting. Though she indicated she was not in favour of a meeting, Sasikala said she will travel to Edappadi.

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