Tribune News Service
New Delhi, January 19
All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazagham leader and Tamil Nadu Chief Minister Edappadi Palaniswami has made it clear that his party won’t take back VK Sasikala, a close aide of late Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa.
Sasikala, who’s currently serving a 5-year jail term in a disproportionate assets case in which Jayalalithaa was also a suspect, is expected to be released later this month.
Though according to some BJP leaders and also observers, if the NDA wants to defeat rival DMK, then Sasikala and her nephew TTV Dinakaran should be brought on board. After being expelled from the AIADMK, Dinakaran floated a new party called AMMK and is said to be holding considerable influence in many parts of central and southern Tamil Nadu.
“If you really want to defeat DMK, all anti-DMK parties need to come together as full force,” they say.
Palaniswami, who is beleived to have discussed prospects of the NDA alliance in the poll-bound state in his meetings with Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Home Minister Amit Shah during his Delhi visit, insisted that politics was not discussed. He said the seat allocation between NDA partners will be decided after the announcement of the poll schedule, for which there is still time.
He said he had requested Modi to inaugurate various completed infrastructure projects and also lay the foundation stone for the new infrastructure projects in the state. With Shah, he said he sought funds for the relief measures for the farmers of Tamil Nadu affected by the cyclones and rains
While Palaniswami has already been named as the AIADMK’s chief minister face, the NDA is yet to make a formal announcement.
Banking heavily on megastar Rajinikanth, the saffron party appears to have also changed tack regarding relations with regional ally AIADMK after his decision to stay away from politics. Saffron leaders, who had earlier been insisting that it is the NDA that will take call on the issue, now say their regional ally (that is the AIADMK) will decide the chief ministerial candidate for the Assembly elections due in April-May 2021. The AIADMK passed a resolution in its last general council that the incumbent CM will be its face for the forthcoming polls, according to reports.