CHENNAI: Hitting back at AIADMK leaders’ barbs that she has no connection with the party, VK Sasikala on Thursday recalled her association with AIADMK founder MG Ramachandran and how the late leader used to seek her views on party affairs in the mid-1980s. Sasikala also indicated that she would start touring the state very soon, saying, “Will decide after the government takes a decision about the lockdown which ends on July 5.”
Ever since Sasikala started asserting that she would be returning to active politics very soon, AIADMK leaders including its joint coordinator Edappadi K Palaniswami have been seeking to play down her moves by saying that she is not a member of the party. They said she can start her own party but can’t move around under the garb of the AIADMK.
So far, over 100 audio recordings of her interactions with AIADMK functionaries have been released and nowhere has she mentioned the name of Palaniswami. In a bid to rebut their charge that she has no connection with the party, she has been interacting with close associates of MG Ramachandran and J Jayalalithaa and indicating that she grew up with the party right from its early years.
On Thursday, Sasikala recalled her close association with AIADMK founder MG Ramachandran. Besides, she also recounted her role in the merger of the AIADMK factions led by J Jayalalithaa and Janaki Ammal after the death of MGR. Moreover, Sasikala revealed that family members of MGR called on her on Wednesday and expressed their wish that she should return to politics to safeguard the party.
Ramasamy of Thoothukudi was among the six AIADMK functionaries Sasikala spoke to on Thursday. During the interaction, he hailed Sasikala for not uttering any harsh words against those who betrayed her. Responding, Sasikala said, "Thalaivar (MG Ramachandran) had advised us to maintain that calm. Many did not know that I have travelled with Thalaivar too. When Thalaivar interacted with me, he
used to ask my views about party affairs. I used to answer him very patiently. So, it became a habit to me.”
Sasikala went on to assert her closeness with Jayalalithaa too, saying, “Whenever Amma (Jayalalithaa) took decisions in an angry mood, I used to advise her that for the sake of the cadre, we should decide calmly. That kind of attitude worked well.”
When Ramasamy said betrayers would not have any future, Sasikala said, "The AIADMK is the cadres' party and they will prove it once again. When the party was divided into two factions after the demise of Thalaivar, we played an important role in merging the factions. Even at that young age, I had such maturity. Now, a similar situation prevails for the AIADMK. So, now I also wish that all those who are keeping away from the party should unite. I will make it happen. I have a duty to accomplish that."
When Raina Banu of Tirupur said Sasikala should capture the AIADMK, she replied, “We need not ‘capture’ the party because it is our party.”
EPS goes into a huddle
Meanwhile, AIADMK coordinator Edappadi K Palaniswami went into a huddle with the secretaries of party districts in Chennai. The interactions lasted for around three hours. Sources said forthcoming local body elections and Sasikala’s continuing discussions with party functionaries were among the issues discussed. Meanwhile, posters urging Sasikala to lead the party appeared near the AIADMK
headquarters and in Madurai.