VK Sasikala, the former aide of late Tamil Nadu Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa on Sunday, 17 October, triggered a storm by unveiling a stone plaque that named her as the general secretary of All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (AIADMK), The News Minute reported.
She unveiled the plaque at the memorial of MG Ramachandran (MGR), founder of AIADMK at Marina Beach in Chennai.
A day ago, she made a public appearance at the Jayalalitha memorial and offered floral tributes to her late friend. This was her first visit to the memorial after was released from Bengaluru prison, where she served four years for the disproportionate assets case.
Sasikala Calls Herself 'Puratchi Thai', AIADMK Says It Will Take Legal Action Against Her
According to a report in The Hindu, M Anandan, a former minister and PM Narasimhan, a former chief government whip were present during Sunday's event.
When Sasikala visited Jayalalithaa memorial this Saturday, she called herself 'Puratchi Thai'. Jayalalithaa and MGR have been traditionally called using the titles 'Puratchi Thalaivi' and 'Puratchi Thalaivar' respectively.
On Sunday, while unveiling the stone plaque, she also reportedly raised the AIADMK party flag to mark the party's golden jubilee. The stone plaque acknowledged VK Sasikala, the "general secretary of AIADMK" for hoisting the flag, The News Minute reported.
Speaking at the event she said, as quoted by the publication, "All of you here know the reason why I stood aside during the (Assembly) elections. No harm should come to the party because of me. The divisions among us has helped our enemies. At this juncture, unity is important." Besides she also claimed that she made sure AIADMK came back to power before her imprisonment.
She also told her supporters to ensure AIADMK remains victorious "till eternity"
Even as Sasikala conducted celebrations at MGR memorial, AIADMK, the principal Opposition party of the state was holding the official golden jubilee celebrations at its headquarters in Chennai's Royapettah.
Talking to the media at the event, the party spokesperson D Jayakumar said AIADMK will take legal action against Sasikala for hoisting party flag and for calling herself its general secretary. He claimed that Sasikala's act was a direct violation of Election Commission’s rules and a previous court order.
'Work Together to Bring Back AIADMK to Power'
He added, "Sasikala is calling herself ‘Puratchi Thai’ as if she has appeared from the heavens as a new avatar. What revolution has she done to call herself that? She has done ‘puratchi’ to benefit her family alone," as quoted by The News Minute.
The former minister was most likely pointing to several allegations against Sasikala's brother V Dhivakaran and her family, which is popularly called as the 'Mannargudi family'. Before she went to prison, Sasikala had also made sure to bring back her nephew TTV Dhinakaran inside the party by making him its deputy general secretary. Dhinakaran, however, was later ousted from the post by EPS and OPS.
Further, speaking at the event, Sasikala called MGR as a "seed" and Jaya as "rain" that helped the party thrive through the years. She told her supporters to work for the benefit of people of Tamil Nadu and the cadre. Otherwise she said, the party could fall any moment.
Sasikala also said that following the death of MGR, his wife Janaki had invited her to Ramavaram Thottam house, which has now been converted to MGR memorial and told her that the party had to be unified again, as it got divided after the founder's death.
Following that, she said AIADMK could come to power only because of the enormous efforts of 'Puratchi Thalaivi Amma'. She urged her supporters to become united and work in a similar fashion to bring back AIADMK to power.
(With inputs from The News Minute and The Hindu)