AIADMK general secretary V K Sasikala on Sunday said that it was "very difficult" for a woman to be in politics, which she had seen in the time of Jayalalithaa too, and asserted that the MLAs were with her.
“As General Secretary, I can tell that the AIADMK government will certainly continue for the next four and a half years and serve people,” she said.
Speaking to reporters outside Poes Garden residence where she continues to live after the demise of her predecessor J Jayalalithaa, Sasikala, who was elected the legislature party leader a week ago, termed as "fake" a letter in her name and purportedly addressed to Governor Ch Vidyasagar Rao.
“There is a fake letter in my name doing the rounds in social media and a friend brought it to my notice. You (media) should also see it. It is very difficult for a woman to be in politics. Have seen that during purathchi thalaivi's (Jayalalithaa) times also, but she overcame it,” Sasikala said.
She said she had seen such "flutter" happen in AIADMK following the death of its founder the late M G Ramachandran, but Jayalalithaa had steered it tactfully and even ensured it won a successive term in last year's polls.
"Since then, there have been efforts to split the party. Those who made such efforts then are doing it today also," she said, in an apparent reference to Chief Minister O Panneerselvam, who has revolted against her, being a member of the faction led by Janaki, the widow of Ramachandran, then.
AIADMK was then divided as Janaki and Jayalalithaa factions. Sasikala asserted, "We are used to these challenges."
"The MLAs are with me. Today also I'm going to meet them (at a resort near here)," she said. She had yesterday held discussions with the MLAs staying at the resort at nearby Koovathur.
On the 'delay' by Governor Ch Vidyasagar Rao in inviting her to form the government and 10 MPs joining rival camp, she shot back "you very well know" the reason. On various charges made against her by Panneerselvam, she said they will be responded to at the "appropriate time."
Asked about BJP leader Subramanian Swamy's contention that the Governor has to decide on the issue of government formation by tomorrow, else a court case can be filed charging abetment of horse trading, she said, "We will discuss it."
Meanwhile, addressing her party's star campaigners who include actors and singers, Sasikala assured them that AIADMK would come out of this crisis with the help of grassroots workers.
"Our party and grassroots level workers are with us. They are the true sense of this movement. Be bold, I am with you," she told them.
(With inputs from PTI)