AIADMK files police complaint against Sasikala for plaque that calls her party boss
CHENNAI: The All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (AIADMK) late on Wednesday evening filed a police complaint against expelled party leader VK Sasikala for unveiling a plaque at party founder M G Ramachandran’s memorial on October 17 that referred to her as the AIADMK general secretary. Sasikala’s surprise move on a day the AIADMK was ringing in its golden jubilee year was seen as a renewed attempt by the one-time close aide of Jayalalitha to signal to her supporters that she was still in the game.
The AIADMK retaliated three days later with a police complaint filed by the organisational secretary and former minister D Jayakumar at Chennai’s Mambalam police station. The AIADMK sought action against Sasikala for “cheating by impersonation, promoting disharmony, enmity and hatred and circulating statements with intent to cause fear or alarm.”
“The said Sasikala knew fully well that the said conduct on her part was dishonest and in effect impersonation of an office to which she has no claim,” the AIADMK’s written complaint to the police said. The complaint went on to explain the circumstances that led to Sasikala’s expulsion in 2017 and the eventual consolidation of the party under the dual leadership of former chief ministers Edappadi Palaniswami and O Panneerselvam.
Jayakumar also underlined that the Election Commission of India settled the dispute over the party name and symbol following J Jayalalithaa’s death by recognising the dual leadership as the ‘real AIADMK’.
“It’s a settled matter. Even elections are over. She’s doing this out of boredom,” said E Palaniswami on Wednesday while interacting with reporters. “She has no links with the party.”
When Jayalalithaa died in office in December 2016, Paneerselvam, who had filled in for Jyalalitha in the past, was named to succeed her as chief minister. Sasikala was elected general secretary, the AIADMK’s highest post that was previously held by MGR and Jayalalithaa. But Paneerselvam did not last long and was forced to make way for Sasikala to be chief minister, leading to his dramatic rebellion.
Sasikala eventually handpicked Palaniswami as chief minister before surrendering to serve her sentence in a disproportionate assets case. While Sasikala was in a Bengaluru jail, rivals Pannerselvam and Palaniswami decided to merge their factions in August 2017 and expelled Sasikala. Jayalalithaa was named as the permanent general secretary; neither side wanted to let the other gain an upper hand. Pannerselvam and Palaniswami function as coordinator and co-cordinator of the party.