After five more MPs deserted her and joined the Panneerselvam camp, AIADMK Sasikala on Sunday said she has faith in democracy and her party will traverse these such betrayal to witness successes. Speaking to reporters outside Poes Garden residence where she continues to live after the demise of her predecessor J Jayalalithaa, Sasikala, also known as Chinamma, lashed out at the Panneerselvam camp, saying the same group which went against Jayalalithaa is now attacking her.
WATCH VIDEO | Sasikala Breaks Down While Addressing AIADMK MLAs
She also termed as termed as “fake” a letter in her name and purportedly addressed to Governor Ch Vidyasagar Rao.
“As General Secretary, I can tell that the AIADMK government will certainly continue for the next four and a half years and serve people,” she said. “There is a fake letter in my name doing the rounds in social media and a friend brought it to my notice. You (media) should also see it. It is very difficult for a woman to be in politics. Have seen that during purathchi thalaivi’s (Jayalalithaa) times also, but she overcame it,” she added.
On his loyalists deserting her, Sasikala said such “flutter” happened in AIADMK following the death of its founder the late M G Ramachandran, but Jayalalithaa had steered it tactfully and even ensured it won a successive term in last year’s polls.
“Since then, there have been efforts to split the party. Those who made such efforts then are doing it today also,” she said, in an apparent reference to Chief Minister O Panneerselvam, who has revolted against her, being a member of the faction led by Janaki, the widow of Ramachandran, then.
“A letter has been circulated as if I have written it. It shows there are people who cannot tolerate a lady getting into politics. The letter which claims to have been written by me is false. Things which are happening now are not new to us. There were attempts in past also to divide the party,”said Sasikala adding that AIADMK government will continue in Tamil Nadu.
She had yesterday held discussions with the MLAs staying at the resort at nearby Koovathur.
On the ‘delay’ by Governor Ch Vidyasagar Rao in inviting her to form the government and 10 MPs joining rival camp, she shot back “you very well know” the reason. On various charges made against her by Panneerselvam, she said they will be responded to at the “appropriate time.”
Asked about BJP leader Subramanian Swamy’s contention that the Governor has to decide on the issue of government formation by tomorrow, else a court case can be filed charging abetment of horse trading, she said, “We will discuss it.”
Meanwhile, addressing her party’s star campaigners who include actors and singers, Sasikala assured them that AIADMK would come out of this crisis with the help of grassroots workers.
“Our party and grassroots level workers are with us. They are the true sense of this movement. Be bold, I am with you,” she told them.
Earlier in the day, Sasikala “relieved” Lakshmanan from the post of district secretary Villupuram (North) and replaced him with Law Minister C Ve Shanmugam. Following Panneerselvam’s rebellion, AIADMK Rajya Sabha MP V Maitreyan was the first Parliamentarian to extend support to him.
(With inputs from PTI)