Congress leader Vijayshanthi, who is also the party’s star campaigner in Telangana, met Sasikala, the jailed associate of late Tamil Nadu Chief Minister Jayalalithaa, at Parappana Agrahara central prison on Friday(Jan 4) in attempt to seek the entry of TTV Dhinakaran-led Amma Makkal Munnetra Kazhagam (AMMK) in to Congress’ grand alliance against the BJP, News Today reported.
Sasikala is currently incarcerated in the Bengaluru jail after being sentenced to serve four years in jail for corruption by the Supreme Court for disproportionate assets. Her nephew Dhinakaran is holding the fort in her absence. He heads a breakaway faction of AIADMK and so far indicated that he will be not ally with any party that is a part of the DMK front .
Vijayashanthi’s meeting with Sasikala reportedly lasted close to one hour and was confirmed by police sources. Speculations are rife that Vijayashanthi sought support from Sasikala and her party AMMK headed by T T V Dinakaran for Congress’ which is forming a nationwide grand alliance to defeat BJP in the upcoming election. Sasikala has reportedly said that she will inform her party’s stand after discussing with her family members including Dhinakaran.
Vijayashanthi is known to have a long association with Sasikala household. She even congratulated the Tamil Nadu Chief Minister E Palaniswami (then in Sasikala camp) when he was handpicked by Sasikala family to head the AIADMK government. She had termed O Panneerselvam as the ‘evil force’ and VK Sasikala as the saviour. She went on record saying “Congratulate Palaniswami, evil forces including OPS tried creating problems leading to instability. We have Chinamma on one side, who safeguarded party without harming anyone; on the other side was OPS with evil forces.” Ironically Palaniswami himself subsequently rebelled against Sasikala within months and today heads the official faction of AIADMK. He has since reconciled with Panneerselvam who now serves as his deputy chief minister.
“Lady Amitabh” Vijayashanthi was the star campaigner for the Congress party in the recently concluded state assembly elections in Telangana. Congress- TDP alliance suffered a humiliating defeat as Chief Minister K.Chandrasekhar Rao led his party Telangana Rashtra Samiti (TRS) to a landslide win decimating the opposition.
Vijayashanthi’s initial foray into politics was through the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP). She joined the party in 1997 and served as the national general secretary of the BJP's women wing . However, she quit the BJP in 2005 and floated her own party, Talli Telangana endorsing the separate statehood movement. In 2009 her outfit merged with the TRS. Contesting as a TRS candidate, she was elected to the Lok Sabha from Medak constituency in the then undivided Andhra Pradesh. In the run up to Lok Sabha elections in 2014, she quit TRS and joined Congress but lost in the assembly elections. She then announced that she was quitting politics for good.
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