Tamil Nadu Chennai Highlights: The yearlong (2021-22) golden jubilee celebrations of the AIADMK’s founding began on Sunday, and it was marked by a renewed and an open attempt by V K Sasikala, confidante of late party supremo J Jayalalithaa, to get back control of the party by harping on ‘unity’ mantra.
AIADMK party leaders K Palaniswami and O Paneerselvam were seen garlanding the statue of party founder MG Ramachandran & J Jayalalithaa at the party in Royapettah, Chennai. The AIADMK headquarters in Chennai on Avvai Shanmugam Salai would be christened ‘Puratchi Thalaivar MGR Maligai (Revolutionary leader MGR Castle)’, the leaders said.
On the occasion of AIADMK’s golden jubilee celebrations, expelled AIADMK leader VK Sasikala visited the MGR Memorial in T Nagar in Chennai and paid floral tributes to the party’s founder MG Ramachandran. At the memorial, Sasikala unveiled a plaque identifying her as the General Secretary of the party.
Sasikala’s strong pitch for joining forces for the sake of the ‘party and people’ was, however, rejected by the AIADMK, which reiterated that there is no place for her in the party. She unfurled the AIADMK flag at the T Nagar memorial of party founder and late Chief Minister M G Ramachandran here and a plaque unveiled on the occasion addressed her as party ‘general secretary,’ which was strongly opposed by the main opposition party. Recalling a didactic Tamil film song ‘Kanpona Pokkiley’ in a MGR flick, which cautions against choosing a path based on whims and fancies rather than wisdom and reason, Sasikala said, “you decide to whom this is applicable today.”
Sasikala’s last visit to the memorial was in 2017, before surrendering herself as a convict in the disproportionate assets case. She had then taken a vow by hitting the marble slabs of the memorial. Sasikala’s visit in a charged environment, followed by hundreds of followers holding flags of both Amma Makkal Munnetra Kazhagam (AMMK) of her nephew T T V Dhinakaran and of the AIADMK, was also a prelude to her statewide tour, likely starting from Tanjavur on October 27.