Expelled All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam leader VK Sasikala has hinted that she might return to the party, the Hindustan Times reported on Sunday, citing audio clippings of her purported conversations with supporters.
In one audio clip that has been circulating on social media, a man identified as Lawrence was heard telling Sasikala that a group of supporters was waiting for her return. Sasikala told him that she will be back after the Covid-19 crisis is over. “Don’t worry we will definitely set everything right,” she was quoted as saying by the newspaper. “You all be brave.”
In the second purported conversation, Sasikala told another supporter that she was hurt to see fighting within the AIADMK. “We made this party grow with a lot of difficulties so I cannot just watch it go to waste,” she said, according to the Hindustan Times. “Very soon I will come. Once corona is over, I will meet everyone.”
The supporter told Sasikala that he and the others were shattered after the AIADMK lost the recent Assembly elections in Tamil Nadu.
Sasikala added that she will take the AIADMK on the path advocated by the party’s founder MG Ramachandran and former Tamil Nadu Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa, according to The Times of India. “So many of you cadres have reposed faith in me,” she said. “I will definitely not let you down. I will come back soon.”
The audio clippings have emerged amid reports of a tussle between senior AIADMK leaders O Panneerselvam and Edappadi K Palaniswami.
The AIADMK had lost the Assembly elections to the Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam, which came to power in Tamil Nadu after 10 years. The election results were announced on May 2.
Ahead of the elections, Sasikala had announced that she was quitting politics. “I have never been after power or position even when Jaya [late former Tamil Nadu Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa] was alive,” she had said. “Won’t do that after she is dead. [I am] quitting politics but I pray that her party wins, and her legacy goes on.”
Sasikala was released from prison on January 27 after a serving a four-year sentence in a corruption case. After being freed, Sasikala approached a court in Chennai seeking early hearing of a civil suit to reclaim her post as the AIADMK general secretary.