Days after her public scuffle with a Rajya Sabha colleague from the DMK at the Delhi airport that set off a controversy, the ruling AIADMK expelled Sasikala Pushpa from the party, charging her with bringing disrepute to the organisation.
The episode was not without drama, as the member raised the issue in the Rajya Sabha on Monday much to the shock of her party colleagues. She alleged that she was facing pressure to resign her Rajya Sabha membership and even added that she was facing threat over the development.
The incident at Delhi airport had triggered a controversy after which both Sasikala and DMK member ‘Tiruchy’ N Siva were summoned by their respective party leadership on Sunday to explain the matter. While she remained incommunicado, Siva said his party brass would decide the future course of action.
With things standing so, Sasikala walked up to Deputy Chairman of Rajya Sabha PJ Kurien, during the zero hour seeking his permission to speak. After obtaining his permission, she stood up in the House and first apologised to Siva for the airport incident. Then, she raised a series of allegations against the party leadership, which came as a shock for AIADMK members. This led to immediate and vociferous protest from them who entered the well to raise objection against allowing her to level allegations against a person not present in the House.
Perplexed by the turn of events, Kurian cautioned her against raising allegations against persons who cannot defend themselves. “Don’t narrate or say anything which amounts to allegations against anybody who cannot come here and protect (themselves),” he said, asking her to give her complaint in writing to the chairman of the House, Vice-President Hamid Ansari.
Just as the drama was dying down in Delhi, the AIADMK issued a brief statement announcing Sasikala’s immediate expulsion from the party.
The former mayor of Thoothukudi Corporation, Sasikala was nominated for Rajya Sabha in 2014. She still has four years left in her term.
Talking to reporters at Chennai Airport, Siva on Sunday said the AIADMK MP pulled his shirt and hit him in full public view. “It was not a scuffle between us. I was standing near the exit gate of the terminal, when she (Sasikala) came and hit me. In order to maintain my dignity and to avoid an argument with a woman, I left the place without any further ado,” he said. The slapping incident happened on Saturday. Both had booked seats by the same Jet Airways flight to Chennai and came to the departure terminal of the airport. As per reports, the AIADMK MP allegedly slapped Siva of the DMK because of some objectionable remarks he is said to passed about her party and the party chief.
Siva denied that he uttered any objectionable comments. “Sasikala was peeved that security personnel gave me respect even though both of us were parliamentarians. After she hit me, the CISF personnel intervened and asked her why she had done so,” he said.