A stone plaque unveiled by AIADMK’s outlying contender VK Sasikala identifies her as the general secretary of the party, a bold claim by Jayalalithaa’s personal and political aide who is out of jail and making definitive attempts to take over the reins of the party.
Sasikala took the wraps off the plaque at the MGR Memorial in Chennai’s T Nagar. On Saturday, she made a publicised visit to the Jayalalithaa memorial along the beach in Chennai after nearly 4.5 years — she had stood at Jayalalithaa’s grave in February 2017 and made a vow to ‘redeem the party’. After her 4-year jail sentence in the disproportionate assets case that convicted Jayalalithaa, Sasikala is stepping into active politics again.
Sasikala’s move underscores two things: she is serious about re-entering active politics. The DMK is on an ascendant note (it swept the local body polls too), and the BJP is garnering allies across the South and looking to make a break in Tamil Nadu.
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As for the AIADMK, the party’s general secretary position is sub-judice after a party cadre challenged the powers of Edappadi Palaniswami and O Panneerselvam to abolish the position of general secretary.
By unveiling a plaque with her name as general secretary, Sasikala has clearly indicated what her ambitions are — the reins of the party. For Palaniswami, who appears to be more in trouble with the rise of Sasikala, it is a clear message that she will make an open bid to control the party.
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For the DMK, the rise of Sasikala should seem more problematic than the ruling of Edappadi Palaniswami and Panneerselvam, who seemed more like provincial leaders who struck gold after the death of Jayalalithaa.
In the coming months, how Sasikala makes her moves will have a significant impact on AIADMK’s future and the strain of DMK-AIADMK rivalry that characterised Dravidian politics for over five decades.Internet Explorer Channel Network