The rumblings in the extended family of VK Sasikala, jailed aide of late J Jayalalithaa, intensified with her nephew Jeyanandh Dhivakaran today hitting out at TTV Dhinakaran for “trying to change the identity” of his aunt by offering her a role in his new party.
Jeyanandh is the son of Sasikala’s brother V Dhivakaran, who has been engaged in a war of words with her other nephew Dhinakaran, the sidelined AIADMK leader who later floated his party, Amma Makkal Munnetra Kazhagam (AMMK).
Responding to reporters’ queries on Dhinakaran’s reported statement that Sasikala could be given a leadership role in AMMK, Jeyanandh said the RK Nagar MLA was “trying to change the identity” of Sasikala.
“AIADMK is the initial (identity) of Sasikala. When she went to prison (last year in a disproportionate assets case), she had handed over the party called AIADMK, its two leaves (symbol) and the party flag to Dhinakaran.” “Today Dhinakaran has made that AIADMK non-existent and is trying to change the very initials (identity) of Sasikala by launching AMMK and trying to include her in it,” he said.
Jeyanandh claimed Sasikala has been associated with the late MG Ramachandran-founded AIADMK for many years. A key aide of former chief minister Jayalalithaa, Sasikala was elected as her successor to lead the party in December 2016, days after the former’s death. However, in February 2017, Sasikala was convicted by the Supreme Court in the Rs 66.6 crore disproportionate assets case and has since been lodged in a jail in Bengaluru.
She had appointed Dhinakaran as AIADMK Deputy General Secretary before going to prison.
However, a unified AIADMK, where factions led by Chief Minister K Palaniswami and his now deputy O Panneerselvam merged, later annulled Sasikala’s appointment as the party’s interim general secretary.
It also annulled appointments made by her. Following his rift with Dhinakaran, Dhivakaran had on Sunday floated a new outfit called ‘Amma Ani,’ which roughly translates into the “Amma faction” or “Amma team”. It is named after former AIADMK supremo Jayalalithaa, who was fondly addressed “Amma” (mother) by her supporters. Jeyanandh accused Dhinakaran of “not respecting seniors,” an apparent reference to the AMMK founder’s war of words with his father, Dhivakaran.
To a question, he said there were “shortcomings” in the K Palaniswami-led state government.