Former All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam minister KP Munusamy on Monday lashed out at party general secretary VK Sasikala’s family for claiming they have played a large role in building the party. Munusamy referred to a speech made by Sasikala’s brother V Divakaran during Pongal. Divakaran had praised his brother-in-law M Natarajan for his important role in building the AIADMK.

Munusamy said, “Such talk has hurt the sentiments of the 1.5 crore cadres of AIADMK… Claiming that Natarajan and his family were responsible for getting back the party’s symbol is an utter lie.” He went further to call them “attempts by such people, who were expelled from the AIADMK, to gain control over the party”, according to The Times of India.

However, AIADMK leaders responded, claiming that Munusamy had “never been loyal to the party”.

Munusamy’s remarks came a day before deceased chief minister J Jayalalithaa’s niece Deepa Jayakumar is likely to announce her foray into politics. Jayakumar has been a vocal critic of Sasikala’s and had earlier told, “There should be no question of someone taking over or hijacking the party.” The 42-year-old had earlier said she was not allowed to visit her aunt, and expressed suspicions regarding the hold Sasikala had over Jayalalithaa. According to reports, Jayakumar has taken to dressing like her late aunt after she had died on December 5.