Ahead of the upcoming Tamil Nadu Assembly elections, sacked AIADMK general secretary VK Sasikala on Wednesday, 3 March, issued a statement announcing that she is quitting politics.
In her statement, she has asked supporters of AIADMK to stand united and fight against the DMK in the Assembly elections, slated to take place on 6 April.
“Believing that we are children of the same mother, all supporters should work together in the upcoming elections,” she said in her statement.
What Did Sasikala Say?
She also expressed her heartfelt thanks to all supporters of the party who showed so much affection to her and the late Tamil Nadu Chief Minister Jayalalithaa.
Sasikala is a former aide of Jayalalithaa.
Further, Sasikala said that she had taken forward Jayalalithaa’s ideas when the former chief minister was alive, and has been doing the same even after her demise.
“I have never wished for position of power, designation, authority or money. I will always be grateful to Amma’s followers and people of Tamil Nadu,” she added.
Tried to Dissaude Her: TTV Dhinakaran
Speaking to the media outside her residence, Sasikala's nephew TTV Dhinakaran said he tried his best to persuade her out of the decision. He said AMMK will continue to contest this election under his leadership
TTV Dhinakaran also said that he met Sasikala earlier in the day to discuss her stand in the upcoming elections.
“However when I went home, I was told she was breaking the news about stepping down. So I came back rushing,”TTV Dhinakaran
As per The Indian Express, Dhinakaran informed the press that he is not in agreement with Sasikala’s decision, and said, “I tried to speak to her, convince her… I told her this is unnecessary now, and requested her to remain in politics. I delayed the release of her statement for about 30 minutes. But I cannot stop her from taking her personal decision, isn’t it?”
The timing of Sasikala’s exit from politics may be seen to be quite peculiar, as TTV Dinakaran had announced earlier on Wednesday, that he would release the list of AMMK candidates by 10 March.
Over the last three days he has been saying that he is in talks for an alliance with a few parties and will make an announcement about the same soon.
Senior AIADMK Leader ‘Welcomes’ the Decision
Meanwhile, according to The Indian Express, senior AIADMK leader KP Munusamy welcomed Sasikala’s decision, alleging that it was Dhinakaran who wanted to destroy the AIADMK.
On being asked about taking Sasikala back into the party, Munusamy said: “Time will tell you the answer.”
‘Don’t Know What Dhinakaran Will Do Next’: VCK Chief
Further, Viduthalai Chiruthaigal Katchi (VCK) Chief Thirumavalavan listed multiple possible reasons for Sasikala’s decision, and said that he does not know what Dhinakaran is going to do next.
“Sasikala could have taken this decision because of her health condition. Or this could have been done due to pressure from BJP. She could have also thought that she stepping aside could help the unification of AIADMK and AMMK. I don’t know what TTV Dhinakaran is going to do next.”VCK Chief Thirumavalavan
Responding to talks of seat-sharing talks with DMK not progressing well, Thirumavalan said, “Everything is going fine.”
Tamil Nadu is set to witness a multi-cornered contest, with the major players being the AIADMK-BJP on one side, and the DMK-Congress on the other. The Assembly polls are being held in a single phase on 6 April.
Amid much fanfare, Sasikala had returned to Chennai on 8 February after serving a four-year term on charges of corruption at the Parappana Agrahara prison, Bengaluru. She was released on 27 January.