Senior party functionaries have urged former chief minister and party supremo J Jayalalithaa’s aide V K Sasikala to lead the party on the path shown by her, said AIADMK on Saturday. Earlier today, the party had strongly defended Sasikala saying there’s nothing wrong in its leaders calling on her as she is a key member. They had also announced that a person would soon be elected to the top post of General Secretary.
AIADMK Organisational Secretary C Ponnaiyan answering a question related to state ministers’ recent meetings with Sasikala, said “even if somebody (belonging to the party) met Sasikala Amma, what is wrong in it?, Is she not an important member of the party? What you say is wrong.” C Ponnaiyan further drew a distinction between government-led by AIADMK and the party organisation, when he said that while the government was led by O Panneerselvam, the party was steered by elected party bodies.
When asked who the chief minister, ministers and other top officials are consulting by visiting the Poes Garden residence of the departed AIADMK supremo and if it was Sasikala, he said, “they are having a meeting with the Chief Minister there,” adding that, “It (Veda Nilayam at Poes Garden) is Amma’s house where Amma’s portrait is there… We are in mourning and it is still not over… They are going there (also) to pay homage… It is not good to invent imaginative reasons for everything.”
Ponnaiyan added that some people were spreading “rumours” and “falsehoods” through a section of the media about the next General Secretary. Speaking to reporters, Ponnaiyan said, “News being spread that this or that person may become the General Secretary are all only rumours. There is no truth in it,” he said, adding there is no “jealousy” or “competition” in AIADMK, which is like a fortress and stayed united. Asked about the role of Sasikala’s husband Natarajan and other family members in the party, he said “this is an unnecessary question. The party is led and guarded by over 1.5 crore members.”
On the reported anger among some cadres against Sasikala as access was not provided to anyone to visit Jayalalithaa
during her hospitalisation, he said, “It is a planned rumour and spread wantonly… blaming this or that person is a deliberate rumour.”
(With PTI inputs)