Sasikala to continue battle to regain control of AIADMK

She had challenged the conduct of an AIADMK general council meeting, in which she was sidelined

Amma Makkal Munnetra Kazhagam (AMMK) general secretary T.T.V. Dhinakaran on Tuesday said the All-India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (AIADMK)’s former interim general secretary and former Chief Minister Jayalalithaa’s aide, V.K. Sasikala, would carry on the legal battle to re-gain her control over the ruling party.

Addressing reporters after accompanying Ms. Sasikala during her return to Chennai early on Tuesday, Mr. Dhinakaran said with his aunt out of jail, steps would be taken to fasten the process of hearing a petition filed by her at the Madras High Court. She had challenged the conduct of an AIADMK general council meeting, in which she was sidelined.

In his interaction with the media, he identified her as the “general secretary” of the AIADMK.

He said the AMMK was the “democratic weapon” that would be used to regain control of the AIADMK. It was founded with the objective of “retrieving the AIADMK and establishing a genuine Amma’s [Jayalalithaa] regime”. It had also been formed so that his supporters could contest in the elections under a common symbol.

Mr. Dhinakaran reiterated that “all efforts would be made to prevent the Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (DMK) from coming back to power.”

Earlier in the day, Ms. Sasikala visited the residence of AIADMK’s founder M.G. Ramachandran, in Ramapuram near Chennai, and paid respects to the leader and his wife Janaki Ramachandran [whose mausoleum is located there]. Later, she reached T. Nagar, the current place of her residence, after accepting greetings from supporters en route. The AMMK leader said it took nearly 24 hours for her to reach Chennai from Bengaluru, by road.

On the reception that his aunt received, Mr. Dhinakaran said it “demonstrated the perception of the people that she had not committed any offence.” He asserted that those who assembled at various points along the Bengaluru-Chennai stretch “had come on their own”. “At several places, I noticed the AIADMK’s party flag being displayed,” he said.

He said when he got his party registered with the Election Commission, the panel intimated to him that its jurisdiction was only over the name and symbol of parties. “It has nothing to do with a party’s flag,” he said.

On attempts to bring the AIADMK and the AMMK together, he replied that though he could not hazard a guess, he was confident that the unification would happen. “The timing of such an event is in the hands of the people,” he said. On reports of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) wanting the coming together of the two parties, he answered he had “no information” about any party seeking to mediate between the two.

On contesting in polls

As for his plans to contest the Assembly election, the AMMK founder said he would try his luck again from R.K. Nagar [where he got elected in December 2017] and a constituency in Theni district, which he had earlier represented in the Lok Sabha. As far as the AIADMK’s former interim general secretary was concerned, it was known that “as on date, she cannot contest in the poll”.

“However, I strongly believe that she can take part, making use of provisions in the law. We can seek judicial remedy too,” he said.

He added that veteran actor Rajinikanth had spoken to him and enquired about the health of Ms. Sasikala.

Mr. Dhinakaran thanked the media for having “covered extensively” the return of Ms. Sasikala.

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