Updated: January 19, 2021 7:31:09 pm
Following his meetings in Delhi with Union Home Minister Amit Shah and Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Tamil Nadu Chief Minister Edappadi K Palaniswami said there is no chance of ousted party general secretary V K Sasikala returning to AIADMK. “There is no chance… She is not at the party now,” he said.
When asked about ongoing talks about Sasikala’s return to the party ahead of her expected release from the Bangalore prison in a couple of days, CM Palaniswami said the decision taken by AIADMK was certain. “I can say that… 100%… there is no chance of Sasikala returning to AIADMK,” he said, adding that most of Sasikala supporters are back in AIADMK and that “only few people are there” in her camp now.
“Amma (late J Jayalalithaa) too had kept her away from the party. Only after Amma’s death, Sasikala entered the party. She was not in AIADMK when Amma was alive,” said CM Palaniswami, who was once the most trusted loyalist of Sasikala.
On Tuesday, The Indian Express reported that there were talks in progress between Sasikala’s nephew TTV Dhinakaran and BJP leadership about the scope of Sasikala faction, which is under the banner of Amma Makkal Munnetra Kazhagam (AMMK) led by Dhinakaran, joining AIADMK. Even as Dhinakaran was willing to unite with AIADMK, and BJP too had supported the idea as it would help to strengthen the AIADMK-BJP alliance, what has probably led to CM Palaniswami’s decision was fear about Sasikala taking control of the party affairs if she was allowed entry to party powers. However, a section in the party and BJP believes that Dhinakaran’s support will help the alliance for his influence in southern districts and delta regions. His party had 4% vote share in the last polls.
A senior AIADMK minister said Palaniswami’s statement was against reports of taking Sasikala and Dhinakaran back to the party. “But chances of AMMK joining AIADMK-BJP alliance can’t be ruled out,” he said. CM Palaniswami, he said, has strong reservations about the idea of uniting with Sasikala faction as many Sasikala loyalists in the AIADMK might start supporting her after polls as they are all supporting him and his government for powers in the government.
“He has no absolute control over the party but runs the show for having a government in his hand. At the same time, he might agree with the idea of striking an alliance with Dhinakaran as BJP-RSS leaderships have been favouring the idea to defeat DMK,” the minister said.
CM Palaniswami, who is also holding the position of the joint coordinator in the party, said his meetings with Shah and PM Modi were not to discuss politics but to seek funds for several developmental projects in Tamil Nadu. He said he had invited PM Modi to inaugurate several completed projects and lay the foundation for new ones. “He has accepted my invitation and said he would be coming to Tamil Nadu,” said CM Palaniswami.
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