CHENNAI: Amidst the demand for her release in Tamil Nadu, an AIADMK functionary has written to jailed party chief Jayalalithaa, convicted in a graft case, asking her to quit the powerful General Secretary's post, taking moral responsibility.
Such a course of action would only add to her popularity and set a precedence in public life, said a party member from Coimbatore, K Ramasubramanian, in a letter to Jayalalithaa.
He told Jayalalithaa that she was a leader who does not stand the follies committed by her party colleagues and never shied away from showing such erring functionaries their place.
"According to our party rules, none can take action against you since you are the General Secretary. It would be, therefore, appropriate that you take moral responsibility and stay away from the post till you are exonerated by the Supreme Court", Ramasubramanian said.
"You should discuss with your conscience about taking such a decision (as doing so) will create a precedence in public life and this will in no way affect your popularity or your grip over the party. This will create pressure among other leaders facing criminal charges and this (step) will increase the respect people have on you," said Ramasubramanian, a former BSP leader who joined AIADMK in 2010.
While none can fill her place, she could appoint a loyalist, preferrably a woman, as General Secretary, Ramasubramaniam opined adding Jayalalithaa could use this period for introspection, zooming on those who 'betrayed' her and come back with renewed vigour.
He was also critical of violent protests by AIADMK supporters and workers protesting her conviction and demanding her release.
While AIADMK workers and supporters were carrying out vociferous protests for Jayalalithaa's release, "we are losing the support of neutral people," he said adding "violence always creates a bad name among people."
Certain 'unwanted incidents' had caused disrepute to AIADMK, the government and her, he claimed.
Making it clear that his asking her to quit as AIADMK General Secretary was only an opinion and that he was not making a suggestion to her or questioning her authority, he said he was aware of the implications like disciplinary action, although he expressed the hope that he would not have to face such proceedings.
Jayalalithaa was convicted by a court in Bangalore in the Rs 66.65 crore disproportionate assets case against her.