Jayalalithaa’s niece Deepa mulls joining AIADMK
Chennai, Jan 17 (IANS) Announcing her decision to enter politics, late Tamil Nadu Chief Minister J. Jayalalithaa’s niece J. Deepa on Tuesday said she wasn’t sure whether she will join the AIADMK or float a new party.
Speaking to the media here, Deepa said there were two views on her political journey. “I need time to decide. Have to discuss with people. We have to get everybody’s views.”
Deepa said she would announce her next course of action on February 24, the birthday of her aunt Jayalalithaa, who died on December 5.
A graduate in English literature with a Masters in International Journalism at Cardiff University, Deepa also said she does not accept anybody other than AIADMK party founder, the late M.G. Ramachandran (MGR), and Jayalalithaa as her leader.
Deepa thanked her supporters and said she was not after Jayalaltihaaa’s property.
A large crowd of AIADMK supporters gathered near Deepa’s house shouting slogan in her favour. Banners in her support have come up all over the state.
The AIADMK said Deepa had made no attempt to join the AIADMK.
“Deepa has not made any attempt to joint the AIADMK all these days. The party has a procedure to become a member. Anybody can apply to become a member but the party’s General Secretary decides whether an applicant can be admitted or not,” party spokesman Avadi Kumar told IANS.
“If Deepa comes with a demand, then it may be an issue,” Kumar added.
The AIADMK has two kinds of membership enrolment process – offline and online.
“Anybody can become a member by registering online. But such a member is not eligible to stand for election for party posts,” Kumar said.
He said the party had temporarily stopped issuing new membership cards after Jayalalithaa’s death.
He said with V.K. Sasikala becoming the General Secretary, the process of enrolling new members would soon resume.
He declined to comment on Deepa’s admission, saying a decision would be taken by Sasikala.
“Anybody can float a new political party. But capturing power in the state by a third political party other than the AIADMK or DMK is not possible in Tamil Nadu,” Kumar added.
Political analyst Sumanth Raman urged Deepa to float a new party.
“If she intends to enter politics, then I don’t understand why she is delaying her next course of action. She has only one option… floating a new party,” Raman told IANS.
Raman felt Sasikala would veto Deepa’s entry into AIADMK.
“Why would Sasikala allow the creation of another power centre within the party?”
Ramu Manivannan, a professor of Political Science at the University of Madras, also told IANS that Deepa in the AIADMK would prove a visible challenger to Sasikala.
“If Deepa is admitted, there are possibilities of a power struggle between Deepa and Sasikala, a mini version of the Janaki Ramachandran vs Jayalalithaa fight that followed MGR’s death,” he said.
After MGR died in December 1987, the AIADMK split into two, with one faction supporting his widow Janaki and another Jayalalithaa. The party’s two leaves symbol was frozen by the Election Commission.
Later, the two factions merged as Janaki realised that the party cadres and mass support lay with Jayalalithaa.