A day after V K Sasikala’s audio tapes leaked, signalling her intention of a political comeback, the All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam’s (AIADMK) co-convener K P Munusamy doubted if she will ever be accepted in the party and suggested that Sasikala should keep away from the party for the sake of late J Jayalalithaa, who worked hard to bring it up.
“If Amma’s soul has to be in peace, it is better [that] she (Sasikala) keeps quiet and keeps away,” Munusamy said. He also warned her of “retribution” if she chose to fight for regaining control of the party she headed briefly after Jayalalithaa’s demise in December 2016.
“There is no circumstance under which she can enter the party. There is no possibility… Every single AIADMK cadre is clear about it,” he added.
Sasikala was ousted as the AIADMK general secretary in August 2017 after her conviction in the disproportionate assets case in February that year. She returned to Chennai in February this year to a grand welcome after serving her term in a Bengaluru jail, nearly three months before the Tamil Nadu assembly elections. In March, she said she would step away from politics.
She currently has support of her nephew TTV Dhinakaran, who had formed his own political outfit AMMK after his expulsion from AIADMK in 2017. It was widely speculated that Sasikala will wait for the outcome of the assembly elections before making her next move. After the AIADMK lost power to rival DMK in the assembly polls in election results announced on May 3 earlier this month, Sasikala’s audio tape– where she is heard telling some AIADMK cadres that she will soon return to “set everything right” in the party–has emerged. The audio tape also suggests that “a group” within the AIADMK still supports her.
Munusamy claimed that some forces were trying to cause “confusion” in the AIADMK ranks by using Sasikala in the “forefront” at a time when AIADMK was performing its function as the main opposition party in Tamil Nadu assembly.
“Not a single AIADMK cadre will fall for this confusion. Their intention will not come true. I also listened to the audio clips. No cadre has spoken to her. She’s the one who is calling them,” Munusamy said. The Sasikala audio tape comes at a time when the AIADMK is said to be witnessing a turf war between the party’s two top leaders—co-coordinator Edappadi Palanisami and coordinator O Panneerselvam. Panneerselvam is believed to be more amenable to Sasikala’s return to the party provided she accepted the present hierarchy.
In the audio tapes, leaked on Sunday, Sasiakala is also heard saying she will not watch a party they had built with difficulties go to waste while referring to the rift between Palaniswami and Panneerselvam.