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AIADMK minister releases video of Jayalalithaa apparently targeting Sasikala

LiveMint logoLiveMint 31-08-2017 AP

Chennai: The ongoing tug of war between the two camps of All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (AIADMK) led by chief minister K Palaniswami and T T V Dhinakaran on Thursday saw a minister releasing a video purportedly of the late J Jayalalithaa’s remarks against her aide V K Sasikala and her family.

On his part, Dhinakaran, the party’s sidelined deputy chief, continued with his ‘sacking’ spree, removing a minister from a party post, and also split a district unit to accommodate his supporters.

State revenue minister R B Udhaya Kumar released two CDs purportedly of speeches of late Jayalalithaa. While one of them is apparently linked to expulsion of Sasikala and her family members from AIADMK in 2011, the other was Jayalalithaa’s words of praise for Palaniswami in 2013.

After releasing the CDs, the minister told reporters that one of the CDs contained Jayalalithaa’s speech in 2011 in the party General Council, warning of action against those who maintained any truck with Sasikala and other expelled relatives of hers. However, the video did not show Jayalalithaa naming anybody. “Amma (Jayalalithaa) had said (then) that those who have been removed were contacting office-bearers, claiming they would like to return close to the power centre,” he said.

Jayalalithaa is heard making such remarks in the video, saying there was “no pardon” to those going against the party high command. In 2011, Jayalalithaa expelled Sasikala and her family members, including Dhinakaran, for alleged anti-party activities. However, she later readmitted Sasikala alone.

In February this year, Sasikala, before being lodged in a prison in Bengaluru in the Rs66.6 crore disproportionate assets case, had re-inducted Dhinakaran, besides another relative S Venkatesh into the party. Sasikala, who was appointed AIADMK chief in December 2016 following Jayalalithaa’s death, had also elevated Dhinakaran as AIADMK Deputy General Secretary.

In the second video, Jayalalithaa is seen heaping praise on Palaniswami during a function, crediting him with being by the side of party high command during “challenging times”. Udhaya Kumar recalled that in 1989 Palaniswami had contested and won as MLA from the Jayalalithaa faction of then AIADMK. He had “gone from door-to-door mobilising supporters in favour of” Jayalalithaa during “challenging times” for her, Udhaya Kumar said, adding Palaniswami was efficiently running the government now.

In an apparent reference to Dhinakaran, the minister asked “those creating confusion should remain calm” to ensure Jayalalithaa’s fame was upheld. He said the people of the state desired that the government complete its tenure.

Meanwhile, Dhinakaran continued with his shake-up of the party ranks, removing Information minister Kadambur V Raju as the secretary of ‘Thoothukudi Puratchi Thalaivi Amma Peravai,’ a forum named after Jayalalithaa. He also removed former minister CT Chellapandian as Thoothukudi district secretary. In a statement, he announced splitting the district as Thoothukudi North and South, party-wise. His supporter and Oddapidaram MLA R Sundararaj will be secretary for Thoothukudi North and R Henry Thomas for South unit, Dhinakaran added. All the appointments were being made with the approval of Sasikala, he said.

Dhinakaran has been regularly shaking up the party appointing his supporters in key positions since 21 August, when the two factions of AIADMK led by Palaniswami and O Panneerselvam merged. Among others, he has ‘removed’ Palaniswami from various party posts. However, the Palaniswami camp had said on Monday that Dhinakaran had been removed as the party’s deputy chief on 10 August itself and that his appointments were not valid.

Sasikala’s brother V Divakaran, meanwhile, continued to target Palaniswami and reiterated his charges of corruption against the government. “They are only keen to keep the government running but are committing a historic blunder by not addressing people’s issues,” he told reporters at Erode. He expressed concern over the state’s debt situation and questioned the government’s claim of Tamil Nadu being power-suplus. Meanwhile, Palaniswami is holding district-wise meetings here with MLAs.

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