Sasikala out of hospital, car sports AIADMK flag


AIADMK leaders object to party flag on Sasikala’s vehicle; she is general secretary of AIADMK, says Dhinakaran.

V.K. Sasikala, close aide of late AIADMK leader and former Tamil Nadu Chief Minister Jayalalithaa, was discharged from the Victoria Hospital in Bengaluru at noon on Sunday.

Wearing a mask and gloves, Ms. Sasikala was driven out of the hospital in a car displaying the AIADMK party flag on the bonnet, amidst heavy security and large crowds of supporters.

 

Ms. Sasikala, who completed her four-year sentence in a disproportionate assets case, is scheduled to return to Tamil Nadu only after a week’s stay at the Prestige Golfshire Club near Kempegowda International Airport in keeping with COVID-19 protocols, said sources.

She had been admitted in hospital after contracting COVID-19, just days before her release from the Central Jail at Parappana Agrahara prison on January 27.

Sasikala is general secretary of AIADMK: Dhinakaran

Speaking to reporters in Bengaluru, Ms. Sasikala’s nephew and founder of Amma Makkal Munnetra Kazhagam (AMMK) T.T.V. Dhinakaran said she would return to Chennai after completing a week of rest in Bengaluru. When asked about her car displaying an AIADMK flag, he claimed: “She is the general secretary of the AIADMK. The case is pending in court and so she has displayed the flag. I have said before that the legal battle would continue.”

Also read | O. Panneerselvam’s son wishes Sasikala a speedy recovery

Mr. Dhinakaran also said that the AMMK founded by him is a movement to “retrieve” the AIADMK and Ms. Sasikala would continue to fight the legal battle. Asked whether her release would make an impact in the political scene in Tamil Nadu, he said: “Wait and watch.”

AIADMK leaders object to party flag in vehicle

However, speaking to a TV channel, senior AIADMK leader and Fisheries Minister D. Jayakumar objected to her using the AIADMK flag. He said: “She cannot claim the right [to use the flag]. Without any association or without even being a primary member of the party, how can she use the party flag? This is not acceptable in law. The party’s General Council has also decided that she does not have any association whatsoever with the party.”

Sasikala’s vehicle leaves Victoria Hospital in Bengaluru on January 31, 2021.
 
| Photo Credit: Sudhakara Jain

 

‘If TTV apologises, AIADMK will consider’

AIADMK’s deputy coordinator K.P. Munusamy, while talking to reporters in Kaveripattinam in Krishnagiri district, said if those, who have been expelled from the party over their actions, produce a letter tendering an apology, they could be allowed to rejoin if they gain the confidence of the party leadership and this has been the tradition of this party.

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“Going by that tradition, if T.T.V. Dhinakaran gives a letter expressing regret his actions and tenders an apology and requests for a membership in the party, the party leadership will decide on that,” Mr. Munusamy said. The party’s Rajya Sabha MP said that it was condemnable that Sasikala, a non-member of the party used the party flag in her car. “Jayalalithaa is the permanent general secretary of the party and resolutions in this regard have been passed in the executive committee and the general body of the party,” he said.

To a query as to why Sasikala was not removed from the party, Mr. Munusamy said, “Following the demise of Jayalalithaa, a membership renewal camp was organised in the party and Sasikala did not renew her membership then. How could someone, who is not part of the party, be removed?” The Rajya Sabha MP maintained that the AIADMK would never merge with AMMK and the party leadership would consider taking in Mr. Dhinakaran if he offers an apology letter for acting against AIADMK and request in this regard.

He added that on review, if the leadership’s decision is in his favour, Mr. Dhinakaran will be taken in and the letter will be thrown into the bin if the leadership thinks otherwise.

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Sagar Biswas

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