|  |  | 

India Top Headlines

‘Outsider’ close to BJP got Sasikala to avoid election battle for now | India News


CHENNAI: An emissary close to the BJP and another person, who is a member of VK Sasikala’s family, persuaded her to stop opposing the AIADMK-led alliance and come out with a declaration of unity from the “people of Amma” and defeat to the “common enemy DMK,” several sources told TOI.
An AIADMK leader said the emissary the party approached had caught a relative of Sasikala, “who is not a member of any political party,” to convince her. Two more sources also said that the mediator approached Sasikala through some members of his family to instill in him that he should step back in the general interest of the party nurtured and strengthened by Jayalalithaa. He urged her to provide moral support and not damage her prospects by endorsing her nephew and AMMK leader, TTV Dhinakaran, and discrediting the AIADMK leadership.
On Wednesday, Sasikala was shocked by issuing a statement that she was “stepping away from politics.” Without attributing any motive to his decision, he appealed to the “true followers” of Jayalalithaa to stand together and work for victory in the elections. It did not mention AIADMK or AMMK by name. Upon his return from Bangalore on February 9, Sasikala had promised to enter into active politics. She has been issuing statements on a letterhead that had a picture of the AIADMK flag and signed by her as AIADMK general secretary. Wednesday’s statement was on a plain sheet of paper and simply signed “you affectionately, VK Sasikala.”
“We indicated to her that it would be contempt for her to stand up to dwarf leaders,” the emissary told TOI. “And by supporting his nephew, he would be promoting a family member, which is in clear contradiction to the AIADMK-BJP campaign that denounces dynastic politics.” But what finally secured it, a source said, was the intervention of a relative who agreed with the emissary’s arguments.
A Sasikala associate said she had been dejected that no one from AIADMK contacted her despite her call for unity and her assurance that she would soon return to active politics. Sasikala had called for the unit twice, once on February 8 while on her way to Chennai from Bengaluru, and again on February 24 after paying tribute to her friend Jayalalithaa on the anniversary of the latter’s birth. It is not yet clear what Dhinakaran’s plan of action would be or whether he would receive the tacit support of his aunt in the run-up to the elections. “But a strong argument that convinced Sasikala was that she would have to take the blame if the DMK came to power,” said a senior AIADMK leader.

Reference page