Former Tamil Nadu Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa’s nephew Deepak Jayakumar on Thursday said he refused to accept imprisoned All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam General Secretary VK Sasikala’s nephews, TTV Dinakaran and S Venkatesh, as the party’s leaders, News X reported. Though he had supported Sasikala’s ascendancy to the general secretary’s post, on the eve of his aunt’s 69th birth anniversary Jayakumar said former Chief Minister O Panneerselvam should take over the party’s leadership.

Stating that Dinakaran did not have the merit to lead the party, Deepak Jayakumar said, “This is the most stupidest thing to do, to handover the party to TTV Dinakaran. The cadres will not accept this,” The News Minute reported. He dismissed speculation that he will stake claim to the party’s leadership, but said that his sister Deepa Jayakumar was a better candidate than Sasikala’s nephews.

“I respect O Panneerselvam. He was a good chief minister and I support his administration,” Deepak said.

Jayakumar also said Jayalalithaa’s Poes Garden residence and other properties now belong to him and his sister. “I will pay the Rs 100 crore fine [imposed by the Supreme Court in the disproportionate asset case] for my aunt Jayalalithaa. I do not have money, so I will sell properties. I cannot say which property I am going to sell. But Poes Garden belongs to me and Deepa,” he told News X.

Dinakaran, when asked to comment about former Chief Minister O Panneerselvam and his supporters who had left or were suspended from the party, said the AIADMK would “accept with motherly affection” those who had left the “parent organisation” and wanted to return, PTI reported. He dismissed queries about his “sudden elevation” within the party by saying that Jayalalithaa had brought him into the party herself and assigned several posts, including that of an MP, to him.