News Brief

'My Re-Entry Into AIADMK Has Begun': Sasikala Vows To Restore Jayalalitha's Legacy, Aims For Party Victory In 2026 Tamil Nadu Elections

Kuldeep Negi

Jun 17, 2024, 02:43 PM | Updated 02:44 PM IST

V K Sasikala
V K Sasikala

V K Sasikala, confidante of the late J Jayalalitha, announced on Sunday (16 June) her return to active politics, asserting that the AIADMK's recent electoral losses do not signify its demise.

She vowed to restore Jayalalithaa's legacy by winning the 2026 Assembly elections.

Addressing her supporters, Sasikala said, "This is the time I have been telling you, there is no need for any concern."

"For sure, people of Tamil Nadu are on our side.... I am very strong... it cannot be thought that the AIADMK is finished and it is because, my entry (re-entry) has commenced," she said amid rounds of applause.

Sasikala criticised the rise of caste-based politics within the AIADMK, saying that bringing such caste-based politics into the party nurtured by founder MGR and late matriarch Amma Jayalalithaa will not be tolerated by her and her supporters.

She defended her decision to appoint Edappadi K Palaniswami as Chief Minister in 2017, citing it as a strategic move to represent the party's stronghold in the western region of Tamil Nadu.

She also expressed her intent to hold the DMK government accountable, saying, "If the leader of the opposition (Edappadi Palaniswami) does not pose questions that he must ask, I am the opposition party, I am asking (those) questions," news agency PTI reported.

Sasikala plans to embark on a state-wide tour to rally support and challenge the DMK government on various issues, including bus procurement.

She criticised the AIADMK and DMDK's decision to boycott the upcoming Vikravandi bypoll, calling it "not correct under the present circumstances."

Her party re-entry announcemnt comes after multiple unsuccessful attempts to regain control of the AIADMK, now led by Edappadi K Palaniswami.

The party's recent poor performance in the Lok Sabha elections, where it finished in third and fourth positions and lost deposits in several seats, has added to the internal strife.

Former chief minister O Panneerselvam and his supporters were expelled by Edappadi Palaniswami, who later emerged as the single leader at the helm of the AIADMK.

Sasikala, her relatives including TTV Dhinakaran, who later founded the Amma Makkal Munnetra Kazhagam, were among those who were eased out of the party years ago when Panneerselvam and Palaniswami remained together.

Also Read: China's Nuclear Arsenal Growing Fastest Globally, ICBM Count May Surpass US And Russia Within A Decade: Report

Kuldeep is Senior Editor (Newsroom) at Swarajya. He tweets at @kaydnegi.

Get Swarajya in your inbox.