VK Sasikala, who announced in March that she will “stay away from politics and public life”, will pay floral tributes at the memorials of former chief ministers CN Annadurai, MG Ramachandran and J Jayalalithaa in Marina today in a public spectacle, a day ahead of the golden jubilee celebration of the founding of the AIADMK party.
Some analysts say it is a bid to resurrect her political career. She however is on record downplaying the same.
“I have never been after power or position even when Jaya was alive. Won’t do that after she is dead. I am staying away from politics to ensure continuation of AIADMK’s ‘golden rule’ in Tamil Nadu,” Ms Sasikala said in a letter earlier this year ahead of Tamil Nadu state polls.
Ms Sasikala’s retreat from politics was seen as an attempt to insulate herself from potential criticism that she helped the DMK capture power if election results turned favourable for the opposition.
This is Ms Sasikala’s first visit to the memorials since her return from jail earlier this year. The development follows AIADMK’s loss in the assembly and the local body polls.
The AIADMK, which expelled her, has reiterated that there is no place for Ms Sasikala in the party.
A quick exposition. Ms Sasikala had stepped in as party chief after Jayalalithaa’s death in December 2016, and was set to take her post when she was handed a four-year jail term for corruption.
Before she left for jail she handpicked Edappadi K Palaniswami, or EPS, to become Chief Minister. He had unseated the then Deputy Chief Minister O Panneerselvam, or OPS, after he rebelled against Ms Sasikala’s claim, to take over.
However, in her absence, the two patched up and had her removed from the post and the party.
Ms Sasikala has never contested any election – not even one within her party.