Updated: February 3, 2021 6:11:48 pm
Expelled AIADMK leader and close aide of late Tamil Nadu Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa, VK Sasikala will be reaching Chennai on February 7, her nephew and AMMK general secretary TTV Dhinakaran informed on Wednesday.
Dhinakaran, who visited Madurai earlier today to attend a family event of his party functionary, said cadres and the general public are waiting to provide a rousing welcome to ‘Chinamma’ (Sasikala) on her return to Chennai.
“Chinamma was a mother, sister to Amma (Jayalalithaa). She is the epitome of sacrifice. She dedicated her life to Amma without any expectation. She saved AIADMK from breaking into many factions. She struggled so much in prison and even after coming out, she tested positive for Covid-19. By god’s grace, she is fine now. She is coming to Chennai after a week’s rest,” Dhinakaran said.
The Public Welfare Department on Tuesday put up a notice at the Phoenix-themed Jayalalithaa memorial situated at the Marina Beach, saying that the place will be closed temporarily to complete the construction of the state-of-the-art museum and Knowledge Park which is planned to be set up inside the memorial.
The move was largely criticised by the AMMK cadres. They said the government doesn’t want Sasikala to step into the memorial and hence they have closed the premises on the pretext of completing the construction work.
Former Tamil Nadu Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa's memorial has been temporarily closed for the public to complete the construction work of the Museum and Knowledge Park. pic.twitter.com/UXeq5tNG2c
— Janardhan Koushik (@koushiktweets) February 2, 2021
Commenting on the government’s actions to close the memorial temporarily, Dhinakaran said, “They (AIADMK leaders) opened the Amma memorial on January 27 to welcome Chinamma’s release. Now they have closed the memorial as Chinamma is set to reach Chennai. This is petty politics, one day or the other they had to open the memorial, right? She (Sasikala) will go on that day, who can stop her? These kinds of acts by the people in power show their true colour, they will be taught a lesson in the upcoming election.”
A few days ago, AIADMK’s deputy coordinator KP Munusawmy said if Dhinakaran tenders an apology letter, the party high command might consider including him into their fold. Reacting to this, Dhinakaran said only time will tell who needs to tender an apology and who needs to forgive.
Dhinakaran added that their main objective is to stop the evil force DMK from coming to power.
Regarding the controversy over Sasikala’s use of the AIADMK flag in her car while returning from the hospital, Dhinakaran said Sasikala has the right to use the flag as she is still the general secretary party and the case filed over her position in the party is still pending in the court.
“Four or five people can’t make party rules. Only the general secretary of the party has the power to add or remove members. The current leadership has abolished the general secretary position itself and claims that Amma is the permanent general secretary, it is funny. After Chinnama’s arrival, there will be a change,” he said.
The AIADMK had been actively involved in removing party functionaries who acted in favour of Sasikala. On Tuesday, three functionaries – Pannai M Chinnaraja, Arasangudi AN Saminathan, and A Qudupuddin belonging to Theni, Tiruchirapalli, and Mayiladuthurai districts — were expelled from the party for putting up posters hailing Sasikala.
In a joint statement issued by Chief Minister Edappadi K Palaniswami and Deputy Chief Minister O Pannerselvam, the AIADMK party high command accused the three functionaries of acting against the party principles. The AIADMK cadres were instructed not to have any relationship with them.
Sasikala, who was convicted in the disproportionate assets case, was released from the Parapanna Agrahara prison after four years on January 27. A week before her release, her health deteriorated and, subsequently, she tested positive for Covid-19. She underwent treatment at the Bengaluru hospital and was advised home quarantine. She currently stays at a farmhouse in Bengaluru.
📣 The Indian Express is now on Telegram. Click here to join our channel (@indianexpress) and stay updated with the latest headlines