Sasikala confident of forming government

Chennai, Feb 13 (IANS) AIADMK General Secretary V.K. Sasikala on Monday said she is confident of victory and that peaceful protests would continue for the formation of the next Tamil Nadu government under her.

Addressing hundreds of supporters outside the Poes Garden residence of the late J. Jayalalithaa, Sasikala said that the Chief Minister’s post is not important for her and she never projected herself in the party.

She reiterated that it was she who pressed O. Panneerselvam to become the Chief Minister in December.

“After Jayalalithaa’s death, I told him to become the Chief Minister,” she said.

She claimed Panneerselvam wanted her to take charge of the state but she told him that it was important at that time for her to be with the body of Jayalalithaa, who died on December 5.

Sasikala told the cadres that they all know the manner in which Panneerselvam betrayed the party.

“I have been with Amma for 33 years and I am used to threats,” she said. “What is happening now is not new.”

“With the party having a cadre strength of 1.5 crore no ‘komban’ (person with great skills) can break the AIADMK,” she told the cheering crowd.

“The party cadres are with me,” she added to applause. “As long as the cadres are with me and with Amma’s blessings, an AIADMK government will be in place.

“We have the strength to manage any number of enemies,” she added.

Sasikala said she was involved in electoral alliance with other parties on Jayalalithaa’s instruction.

According to Sasikala, it was she who comforted Jayalalithaa who decided to quit politics after the insult she faced at party founder M.G. Ramachandran’s (MGR) funeral years ago.

During MGR’s funeral, Jayalalithaa was pushed down from the vehicle carrying his body.

Sasikala and Panneerselvam are locked in a bitter power struggle in the AIADMK.

Ten Lok Sabha and two Rajya Sabha members of the AIADMK as well as six of the 135 MLAs are siding with Panneerselvam.

The rest of the MLAs are reportedly with Sasikala and holed up in a resort near Mahabalipuram, about 90 km from here. Sasikala has sought to meet the Tamil Nadu Governor again to stake claim to form a government.

–IANS

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