On the eve of the arrival of V.K. Sasikala, close aide of former Chief Minister Jayalalithaa, in Tamil Nadu, leaders of the AIADMK and the AMMK were engaged in a war of words over whether the ruling dispensation was nervous about her return to the State after completing a four-year prison sentence.
Addressing the media in Bengaluru on Sunday, T.T.V. Dhinakaran, AMMK founder and nephew of Ms. Sasikala, said, “Why are they afraid? They are in government. Ministers in charge of the administration ran to the DGP for two days… It is sad that they have stooped so low.”
He wondered whether the ruling party was conspiring to disturb the law and order situation in the State.
But AIADMK leader and Minister D. Jayakumar said it was Mr. Dhinakaran who was jittery about Ms. Sasikala’s return. The Minister said his party was not afraid of any number of Sasikalas.
“Dhinakaran is nervous because she has come out and would ask for accounts. He has taken all her money,” he alleged. “But we have taken a clear stand. There is 100% no chance of Ms. Sasikala rejoining the AIADMK,” Mr. Jayakumar added.
When asked what the AIADMK’s response would be if Ms. Sasikala visited the party’s head office, Mr. Jayakumar said, “Look, we are a great movement. We are not afraid of any mosquito or fly!”
“We cannot take the law into our hands. We respect the law, and only the police can take action. So, we have given a complaint to the police. They will take care,” he said.
Asked why other Ministers had not come out openly against Ms. Sasikala, Mr. Jayakumar maintained that their silence should not be construed as support for her. “There is no need for every Minister to speak,” he added.
When asked why Ministers had to go to the DGP’s office to submit their complaint, he said all of them were party workers first, and Ministers later. “I went there not as a Minister, but as a party worker. We will always stand for the party first and not for the government,” the Minister said.
Accusing Mr. Dhinakaran of being the DMK’s “B team”, Mr. Jayakumar alleged that the AMMK founder and DMK president M.K. Stalin had joined hands to defeat the AIADMK.