CHENNAI: VK Sasikala, who had promised her supporters that she would go on a statewide tour soon as part of her re-entry into politics, on Saturday visited the memorial of former Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa after a gap of nearly five years. However, she did not reveal her next course of action.
Talking to reporters after paying homage at the Jayalalithaa memorial, Sasikala said everyone knew the reason for her delayed visit to the memorial.
“I had spent three-quarters of my life with Amma (J Jayalalithaa). Today, I have offloaded before her all that was lingering in my mind for the past four years. I have told Amma that the AIADMK has a good future. Thalaivar (MGR) and Amma (Jayalalithaa) lived for the party cadre as well as the people of Tamil Nadu. Both will save the Kazhagam (AIADMK) and its cadre. With this confidence, I take leave," Sasikala told reporters at the Jayalalithaa memorial.
When asked whether she would be visiting the AIADMK headquarters, Sasikala gestured, showing her palms down indicating, “Be patient.” She did not take any more questions.
While paying homage, an emotional Sasikala broke down. She also paid homage to AIADMK founder and former Chief Minister MG Ramachandran and former Chief Minister CN Annadurai. On October 17, Sasikala will be visiting MGR’s residence Ramavaram Garden to pay homage to the late leader.
Sasikala’s visit to the Jayalalithaa memorial came a day ahead of the AIADMK stepping into its golden jubilee year. A number of her supporters gathered at the Jayalalithaa memorial and greeted her. On her way to the Marina from her T Nagar residence, Sasikala used a car with an AIADMK flag. She also visited the Srinivasa Perumal temple and offered prayers there. At a few places, cadres with AIADMK flags greeted her and she reciprocated by stopping her car for a while.
The last time Sasikala visited the memorial was on February 15, 2017, on her way from Chennai to Bengaluru to surrender before the court there since the Supreme Court had awarded her four years imprisonment in a disproportionate wealth case.
On February 12, 2017, she was elected as the leader of the AIADMK's legislature party leader and was all set to become the Chief Minister of the state. However, the SC verdict played spoilsport.
Meanwhile, AIADMK spokesperson D Jayakumar reiterated that Sasikala’s visit to the Jayalalithaa memorial would not have an impact on the AIADMK cadre. “Every day lakhs of people visit the Amma memorial. Sasikala is one among them. No significance can be attached to the visit of Sasikala to the Amma memorial,” he added.
Asked about the use of the AIADMK flag by Sasikala and her supporters, Jayakumar said, "They have no moral right to use the AIADMK flag. We have already condemned that. Despite that, they continue to use it only to create confusion. If we try to prevent them from using the flag, it will only give her more media attention."
Asked what would be her place in politics in the future, Jayakumar said, "TTV Dhinakaran can give her a place in the AMMK. We have no objection to that. But Sasikala will have no place in the AIADMK. We are firm on that."