Sasikala asks Amma’s followers to unite for Assembly polls

Former Tamil Nadu Chief Minister, J. Jayalalithaa’s close aide and expelled AIADMK leader, V.K. Sasikala on Wednesday renewed her call to the ‘cadres of Amma (ex-Chief Minister J. Jayalalithaa)’ to come together to win the Assembly elections.

Almost a fortnight after reaching Chennai she broke her silence for the first time that too on the birth anniversary of Jayalalithaa on Wednesday.

“The true cadre of Amma should come together and win the elections to form the government. Amma has mandated that even after 100 years, our government should be there. I am confident that you would accomplish that,” she said after paying floral tributes to the portrait of Jayalalithaa at her residence here.

She added that she would stand by you (workers). “Very soon, I will meet the people and the cadre. I know you (cadre) cannot be bought. Because you are the cadre with conviction just like Amma (Jayalalithaa). It is a happy day for me since I celebrated the birth anniversary of Amma. It is an invaluable occasion,” Sasikala said while addressing the workers gathered at her residence.

Asserting that Jayalalithaa had left crores of workers behind her, Sasikala said, “I see Amma in everyone’s face. You know what she said in the state Assembly. It is our duty to prove her words. So, all cadres of Amma should come together to win the elections. To achieve that, you all should stand by me. Each one of you should work like bees and offer the victory in elections to her. You should take a vow towards this and work hard.”

Meanwhile, AISMK founder, actor R. Sarathkumar and his wife Radhika called on Sasikala. Later, Sarathkumar said he knew Sasikala for more than 10 years and that as a gesture of gratitude, he met her. Radhika referred to Sasikala as “Udan Pirava Sahodari of Jayalalithaa” (Sister of Jayalalithaa from another mother).

Later, Naam Thamizhar Katchi leader Seeman, film director Bharathi Raja and farmers union leader PR Pandian also called on Sasikala. Bharathi Raja said Sasikala had come to fill the political vacuum in Tamil Nadu and described her as “veera thamizhachi” (courageous Tamil woman).

Though these meetings are described as courtesy calls to enquire about the health of Sasikala who was cured of Covid-19, there is speculation about a separate political front headed by her.

Already, the DMDK treasurer Premalatha has expressed her support for Sasikala. The scenario is likely to become clear once the seat-sharing talks in the AIADMK-led alliance come to an end

In 2017, Sasikala and Dhinakaran were ousted from the AIADMK after the factions led by chief minister K. Palaniswami, earlier chosen by her for the top post before proceeding to serve her jail term, and Panneerselvam merged burying the hatchet.