Expelled AIADMK leader VK Sasikala on Wednesday said she is “stepping aside” from politics and urged the Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam cadres to stand united and ensure the defeat of rival DMK in the forthcoming Assembly elections.
In a statement, Sasikala said, “I set myself apart from politics and pray for the golden rule of my Goddess Akka (Jayalalithaa). I will continue to pray for her vision always.”
In a statement, the former aide of Jayalalithaa: “I have neither desired for the position nor for authority.”
“We should work diligently to ensure that DMK does not come into power. I am thankful to caders and the people of Tamil Nadu who have given due respect and concern towards me,” she said
“I would like to continue my life, as I was executing the vision of Jayalalithaa,” she said.
The AIADMK has so far ruled out accommodating her or her nephew TTV Dhinakaran-led Amma Makkal Munnetra Kazhagam in the party or in the alliance led by it.
The development comes a month ahead of the Assembly elections in Tamil Nadu on April 6.
Sasikala had been staying at her niece J Krishnapriya’s residence in Chennai’s T Nagar area after returning to the city in February following the completion of her four-year prison sentence in a disproportionate assets case.
The former AIADMK leader was discharged on January 31 from Bengaluru’s Victoria hospital where she was undergoing COVID-19 treatment. She was officially released from judicial custody on January 27 after completing her four-year prison sentence in a disproportionate assets case.
In 2019, the Income Tax Department had attached properties worth Rs 1,600 crores belonging to her under the provisions of the Benami Transactions (Prohibition) Act.
After the demise of Jayalalithaa in December 2016, Sasikala was elected General Secretary of the AIADMK. She had handed over the control of the party to nephew Dhinkaran after being convicted in the disproportionate assets case in February 2017.
Edappadi Palaniswami was made Chief Minister with her backing but Sasikala was removed after a rival faction led by O Panneerselvam, who had rebelled against Sasikala merged with the Palaniswami faction. Both Sasikala and Dhinakaran were removed in September 2017.