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OPS favours deliberation on Sasikala’s re-entry, proposal finds opposition in AIADMK

Panneerselvam, when asked about Sasikala's political moves, told reporters at Madurai that anyone may join politics but to accept them or not is in the hands of the people

By: PTI | Chennai |
October 26, 2021 8:03:52 am
Sasikala reactivated her efforts to regain control of the party on October 16, on the eve of the commencement of AIADMK's year long golden jubilee celebrations.

AIADMK top leader O Panneerselvam on Monday said the party leadership would hold discussions and take a decision on re-admitting V K Sasikala, confidante of late Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa, in the party.

The party coordinator’s remark, which virtually reversed the party’s official line, has given rise to opposition with senior leader D Jayakumar stating that it was Panneerselvam who had launched a ‘Dharma Yudham’ against Sasikala and her clan in 2017.

While Sasikala, declaring herself as AIADMK general secretary, is taking several steps to regain control of the party, the remark of OPS assumes significance especially when his colleague and party co-coordinator K Palaniswami had days ago firmly ruled out scope for her return.

Panneerselvam, when asked about Sasikala’s political moves, told reporters at Madurai that anyone may join politics but to accept them or not is in the hands of the people. To a pointed question on whether the AIADMK would accept her back into the party, he said it would be discussed.

OPS, who is also the party coordinator, said the AIADMK is a cadre-based party since the days of party founder M G Ramachandran and the party is being run now based on an organisational structure comprising a coordinator and co-coordinator.

As regards inducting Sasikala again into the party, the AIADMK brass and the top level office-bearers would deliberate on the matter and take a decision, he said.

Speaking to reporters in Chennai, AIADMK senior leader D Jayakumar recalled Panneerselvam’s ‘Dharma Yudham’ against Sasikala. Severing ties with Sasikala was a precondition put forth by Panneerselvam for unification of camps led by him and former Chief Minister Palaniswami, the former Minister said.

Also, when Sasikala recently interacted with some partymen over phone, as part of her outreach bid, they were removed from the party.

“It was made clear by the party in a (recent) resolution that no one should have links with Sasikala. Those violating the decision will have to face disciplinary action. This was made clear,” he said, adding, party leaders, district secretaries, Pannerselvam and Palaniswami have signed that resolution. It is my duty to recall such past incidents,” Jayakumar said, pointing out that Sasikala was eased out of the party following deliberations in the general council years ago. Panneerselvam was also a signatory to the move, he said.

Jayakumar also asserted that he would never side with the Sasikala camp. Contrary to some false claims in social media, he said he was appointed as a Minister in 2016 only by late leader J Jayalalithaa and not Sasikala.

Asked if he could give a guarantee that there would be no deliberation on Sasikala within the party, he said a decision (to discuss or not) has to be taken only by Panneerselvam and Palaniswami.

Sasikala reactivated her efforts to regain control of the party on October 16, on the eve of the commencement of AIADMK’s year long golden jubilee celebrations.

On that day, she visited the mausoleum-cum-memorial of Jayalalithaa on the Marina beachfront, when a large number of her supporters turned up to welcome her. On October 17, she unveiled a commemorative plaque at the memorial of party founder MGR here which declared her as the general secretary, the party chief.

Her renewed attempt to take back control of the party by harping on ‘unity’ mantra was however rejected by leaders including co-coordinator K Palaniswami and D Jayakumar.

A case filed by her, challenging the 2017 AIADMK general council resolutions, including removing her from the post of interim general secretary, is pending in a city court.

Though she had announced ahead of the April 6 Assembly election, that she would stay away from politics, in May she hinted at resumption of efforts to regain control of the AIADMK. Audio clips of her interactions with her supporters and some AIADMK workers also surfaced following which AIADMK men faced action.

She returned to Tamil Nadu on February 8, 2021 after completing her four year sentence which commenced in February 2017. She was in the Parapana Agrahara prison in Bengaluru after her conviction in a disproportionate assets case.

Panneerselvam, to a question on vigilance searches by the DMK regime and connected matters, hit out at the ruling party.

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