Strongly defending former Chief Minister and party supremo Jayalalithaa’s aide V K Sasikala, ruling AIADMK Saturday said there is nothing wrong in its leaders calling on her as she is a key member and asserted a person would soon be elected to the top post of General Secretary. The party also dismissed as rumours and falsehood, claims in a section of the media about who would be the next General Secretary.
AIADMK Organisational Secretary C Ponnaiyan answering a question related to state ministers’ recent meetings with Sasikala, said “even if somebody (belonging to the party) met Sasikala Amma, what is wrong in it?, Is she not an important member of the party? What you say is wrong.” Drawing a distinction between government-led by AIADMK and the party organisation, he told reporters at the party headquarters here that while the government was led by O Panneerselvam, the party was steered by elected party bodies.
“AIADMK is steered by party bodies, including general and executive committees and functionaries at multiple levels and Sasikala is a key member,” Ponnaiyan, who is also the party spokesperson, said. “Sasikala Amma lived with Puratchi Thalaivi Amma’s (revolutionary leader Jayalalithaa’s) last breath. Such questions are unnecessary,” he said.
Asked who the chief minister, ministers and other top officials are consulting by visiting the Poes Garden residence of the departed AIADMK supremo and if it was Sasikala, he said, “they are having a meeting with the Chief Minister there,” adding that, “It (Veda Nilayam at Poes Garden) is Amma’s house where Amma’s portrait is there… We are in mourning and it is still not over… They are going there (also) to pay homage… It is not good to invent imaginative reasons for everything.”
“The party will soon elect a General Secretary who will guard the party and cadres who follow the footsteps of Amma with godly devotion and Tamil Nadu people,” he added. The party high command has taken a decision to elect a General Secretary and the election will happen soon, he said. Asked about anger among some cadres against Sasikala as access was not provided to anyone to visit Jayalalithaa during her hospitalisation, he said “it is a planned rumour and spread wantonly… blaming this or that person is a deliberate rumour.”
Ponnaiyan said some people were propagating several “rumours” and “falsehoods” through a section of the media about who will be the next General Secretary of the party. “News being spread that this or that person may become the General Secretary are all only rumours. There is no truth in it,” he said, adding there is no “jealousy” or “competition” in AIADMK, which is like a fortress and stayed united. Asked about the role of Sasikala’s husband Natarajan and other family members in the party, he said “this is an unnecessary question. The party is led and guarded by over 1.5 crore members.”