Setback for Sasikala in reclaiming AIADMK mantle

Published on : 09:04 AM Apr 12, 2022

In a major setback for VK Sasikala, a lower court has dismissed her petition challenging her ouster as AIADMK general secretary. While shattering her dream of getting back into the party, this has come as a shot in the arm for Edappadi K Palaniswami, who has been resisting her re-entry. Further, this development will enhance his grip over the party and silence her apologists, including AIADMK coordinator O Panneerselvam (OPS), writes MC Rajan of ETV Bharat.

Chennai: In the battle to reclaim the leadership of the AIADMK, VK Sasikala suffered a severe jolt with a city civil court junking the plea challenging her dismissal as party general secretary. Adding to her woes, the court putting its stamp of imprimatur on her ouster in 2017, has dampened the spirit of her supporters, who were confident of Sasikala taking over the reins of the party in the near future.

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Talks of her re-entry gained prominence when the party was routed in the civic polls, which provided fodder to those opposed to the dual leadership of OPS and EPS. The former appeared to be ready for a patch-up with Sasikala and praised her in his testimony before the judicial commission probing Jayalalithaa's death. Now, things seem to fall apart for the lady who once kept the party under her thumbs.

“We will go on appeal after going through the judgment. This is not the end," Sasikala who is on a pilgrimage, visiting a number of temples, across the state said. Party cadre choose the general secretary. We all know how AIADMK is reeling under successive electoral losses, she added claiming that it was her duty to revive the party and to fulfill the desire of late former Chief Minister Jayalalithaa. This was her initial reaction before the media at Namakkal and Tiruchengode. Advertisement

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Also read: Chennai court upholds AIADMK's decision to expel VK Sasikala from party

However, her optimism seems to be misplaced and analysts are of the view that this might be the beginning of the end of her political journey. “This is the end of the road for Sasikala. Her political ambitions have come to a naught. In the AIADMK this would strengthen the hands of EPS, who is not ready to cede space for either Sasikala or her nephew, TTV Dhinakaran. Also, this would silence OPS and other leaders who have a soft corner towards her. It might not be easy to get the verdict reversed,” explains senior journalist Babu Jayakumar.

Concurring with him, political observer Raveendran Duraisamy says that it is the Election Commission which recognises a political party and the party under the present leadership has secured the magical two leaves symbol and fought elections. “Sasikala claiming to be the general secretary and using the party flag in her efforts to reach out to the cadre has created confusion. This court verdict is a victory for EPS. Though it will be appealed against, the legal battle might take years,” he said, adding that the sand is slipping under her feet.

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