Expelled AIADMK leader V K Sasikala has said the party which was once envied by political outfits across the country is now in shambles and its cadres are hurt and feeling embarrassed due to the internal tensions amongst its leaders.
Sasikala, who according to her camp is on a tour to defend the rights of Tamil soil and the dignity of women, made the comments while addressing the cadres at Tindivanam on Tuesday. She said that the AIADMK had served as a party for the cadres and downtrodden under the leadership of late Tamil Nadu chief ministers M G Ramachandran and J Jayalalithaa.
“I am deeply hurt by all the activities that are taking place in our party post the demise of Amma (Jayalalithaa). Our leader created a rule providing the opportunity for the party’s primary members to elect their general secretary of the party, this was never in practice in any other party. He said the party is the body and the cadres are the soul. The party which has this kind of rich history and legacy is now caught in the hands of anarchy and struggling,” she said.
Her comments came as the AIADMK treasurer O Panneerselvam (OPS) is involved in a power tussle with Edappadi K Palaniswami (EPS). The Palaniswami camp has been pushing hard to establish single leadership in the party and the OPS faction has been against it. The OPS faction has been trying to stop the general council meeting scheduled to take place on July 11.
Sasikala also said that a party’s leadership cannot be decided on the basis of who has more money but on the support of its workers and the people.
“No one can become a leader by making some 10 or 20 speak in favour of him. Only we, who wish to incorporate everyone into the party fold can take this party forward and make it as it was before. I have complete belief in that. As per the wish of the cadres, under my leadership, the party will gain strength again,” Sasikala said.
Commenting on the 2017 Kodanad heist and murder case, Sasikala said not just her but the people of Tamil Nadu should know about the incident and they know about the people who spoke for personal gains. She said the police conducted an inquiry regarding the case and spoke to her for two days and she had cooperated with them.
“During the elections, the current Chief Minister (M K Stalin) had said two things and one among them was the Kodanad incident. He said he will initiate action as soon as he assumes charge, you (media) have to ask him why he hasn’t done anything till now,” Sasikala said.
An armed group of men had entered the Kodanad estate, which belonged to Jayalalithaa, in the Nilgiris in April 2017. The security guard on duty was killed on the same night. The case became sensational after an alleged suicide and two road accidents involving the first and the second accused in the case. Sasikala is one of the owners of the 800-acre private estate.
Sasikala was expelled by the party in 2017 by EPS and OPS nine months after she was unanimously chosen as the party’s interim general secretary. Ever since she was released in January last year after serving a four-year jail term in Bengaluru in a disproportionate assets case, Sasikala had been claiming that the true cadres of the AIADMK are still with her and she is still general secretary of the party.