Tamil Nadu Deputy Chief Minister O Panneerselvam said that although Chief Minister Edappadi Palanisami has categorically ruled out VK Sasikala’s return to the party, he believes it can be considered.
“She spent four years in prison. She has been with and served Amma (Jayalalithaa) for 32 years. Just for human considerations, I think if she accepts the current party establishment under the leadership of a coordinator Chief and his deputy, we could consider his return, ” he said.
It’s a 180-degree turn by Mr Panneerselvam, who in February 2017 resigned his post as chief minister and sat on a “dharmayuddham (battle for justice)” at the Jayalalithaa memorial, apparently protesting against the leadership style of Sasikala.
“The party does not work for an individual or a family,” said Panneerselvam while admitting that his boss had categorically ruled out his return to the party.
Mr Panneerselvam, who heads the party while Mr Palaniswami heads the government, said this in an interview with a local Tamil channel. He also said he had no anger, regret or disappointment towards Ms. Sasikala.
“Even then, when I sat down for a protest at Amma’s memorial, I didn’t say I doubted her,” he said.
The deputy chief minister said he respected both Ms Sasikala and her nephew TTV Dhinakaran, who incidentally recommended him to Jayalalithaa over 20 years ago and were instrumental in his rise. Mr. Panneerselvam had replaced Mr. Dhinakaran as treasurer of AIADMK in 2007.
Ms Sasikala, who recently returned after serving a 4-year prison sentence following her conviction in the Disproportionate Assets case in which the late Chief Minister Jayalalithaa was the first accused, has announced that she will remain in custody. the policy gap.
“She will choose to return to politics, it is her decision. Only she can decide,” Mr. Panneerselvam told Thanthi TV.
Regarding his relationship with the Chief Minister, with whom there has been a constant power struggle, Mr. Panneerselvam stressed that he himself had nominated Mr. Palaniswami as the lead ministerial candidate.
“In politics, there are compromises. You have to be ready to sacrifice. EPS wanted to be chief minister. We discussed it and I myself proposed his name,” he said.