Sasikala maintains studied silence on TN urban polls

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Chennai, Feb 16

 Former interim general secretary of the AIADMK V.K. Sasikala, the close aide of former Tamil Nadu Chief Minister J. Jayalalithaa, is keeping a studied silence in the run-up to the urban local body polls.

Speculations are rife in political and journalistic circles of the state that Sasikala is maintaining a silence only to speak after the results of the Urban polls.

Just before the 2021 Assembly elections, Sasikala had come out of Bengaluru Central prison and reached Tamil Nadu with a convoy of more than thousand vehicles.

The AIADMK leadership did not budge and she announced her retirement from active politics and called for the people to vote for the AIADMK and not to allow the 'misrule' of DMK in Tamil Nadu.

However, it was the political party floated by her nephew T.T.V Dhinakaran, Amma Makkal Munnetra Kazhagam (AMMK) that ate up the vote of the AIADMK in the 2021 polls in 20 odd assembly constituencies of South Tamil Nadu. The vote captured by AMMK in these 20 constituencies was more than the difference of vote share between the two major Dravidian parties, AIADMK and DMK. The division of votes in several constituencies of South Tamil Nadu was the main reason for AIADMK losing power after a gap of ten years in Tamil Nadu.

Sasikala, according to sources in the AMMK, is keeping a silence as possibility of DMK wining the Urban local body polls are much higher and after the results are out she would try and make a move to capture the AIADMK .

The former interim general secretary conducted a separate programme at the MGR residence during the AIADMK formation day in October while the AIADMK official faction led by O. Panneerselvam and Edappadi K. Palaniswami conducted programmes at the party headquarters.

Sasikala was also actively engaging the party sympathisers and estranged leaders by making calls to them from her Chennai residence and a team was working for her in this exercise.

Dr Umamaheswari, Political scientist and Professor of Political science at a private College in Chennai  said: "The Thevar community of Sasikala is strong and have the ability to tilt votes in South Tamil Nadu. This is her trump card and will try and use this to regain control of AIADMK after the urban poll results are out. This will work only if AIADMK loses the polls badly and she is expecting a rapprochement with the OPS faction as both Sasikala and OPS are Thevars and the community intervention is in all likelihood to take place in her favour.

The results of the Urban local body elections will be the next arena for a possible war to gain control of the AIADMK in Tamil Nadu with Sasikala definitely trying to make a move in this regard.


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