Former Tamil Nadu chief minister and Jayalalithaa loyalist O Panneerselvam on Friday once again raised the demand for a probe into the death of the former AIADMK chief, whose birth anniversary is being celebrated across the state of Tamil Nadu. Speaking at a memorial service where he garlanded a portrait of the former CM, Panneerselvam said: “When I was CM, I initiated an inquiry into Jayalalithaa’s death, but it went upside down; Government should inquire; We will keep fighting.”
Vowing to ‘take back’ the AIADMK from those that Jayalalithaa expelled, Panneerselvam highlighted the hardships his mentor had to face before she rose up to be the state’s tallest leader. “She faced many troubles after MGR’s death. Jayalalithaa was clear that there will be no family politics in the AIADMK. But today, the government and the party is in the hands of one family. Our biggest challenge is ‘dharma yudham’ (war for justice). Justice will win,” Panneerselvam was quoted as saying by The Hindu, adding that his faction will take back the party from the hands of the family that Jayalalithaa threw out of Poes Garden.
Meanwhile, the OPS camp got the backing of Jayalalithaa’s nephew. Deepak Jayakumar on Friday told reporters that the Sasikala assuming the top post was ‘unacceptable’ to the people of Tamil Nadu and the question of taking Panneerselvam back into the AIADMK didn’t arise as he was very much a leader of the party. “He was a good chief minister… he is still in the party and therefore the question of sacking him and taking him back into AIADMK does not arise. It is his (OPS) party,” Deepak said.
The ‘other’ faction, headed by Sasikala, will have AIADMK presidium chairman K A Sengottaiyan lead the 69th birth anniversary celebrations of Jayalalithaa. He will release a souvenir of the former CM. The Sasikala faction has also asked cadres to organising feasts and distribute welfare aid to the poor. Garlanded portraits of Jayalalithaa will also be put up across the state so that her followers and party workers can pay their tributes.