Chennai (Tamil Nadu) [India], March 3 (ANI): Expelled AIADMK leader TTV Dhinakaran on Wednesday said he tried his best to persuade his aunt VK Sasikala from "stepping aside" from politics.
In a statement, earlier today, expelled AIADMK leader Sasikala said she is "stepping aside" from politics and urged the Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam cadres to stand united and ensure the defeat of rival DMK in the forthcoming Assembly elections.
"I tried my best to persuade Sasikala out of the decision. I delayed half an hour but she decided on her decision. Amma Makkal Munnetra Kazhagam (AMMK) will continue contesting this election under my leadership," he said while addressing media outside Sasikala's residence in Chennai.
Dhinakaran said he met Sasikala earlier in the day to discuss her stand in the upcoming elections. "However when I went home, I was told that she was breaking the news about stepping down. So I came back rushing," he added.
"I don't speak for her. All she wanted to convey is there in this letter. I don't influence her, she is AIADMK's General secretary. What she thinks is that Amma's cadres should be work together," Dhinakaran said further.
He added that his party, AMMK is accepting applications of candidates for the upcoming Tamil Nadu Assembly polls, and a possible alliance for election is also in process. "We will announce candidates list on March 10,' he added.
Earlier, Sasikala in a statement said "I set myself apart from politics and pray for the golden rule of my Goddess Akka (Jayalalithaa). I will continue to pray for her vision always."
The former aide of Jayalalithaa said, "I have neither desired for the position nor for authority."
"We should work diligently to ensure that DMK does not come into power. I am thankful to caders and the people of Tamil Nadu who have given due respect and concern towards me. I would like to continue my life, as I was executing the vision of Jayalalithaa," she said.
The AIADMK has so far ruled out accommodating her or her nephew TTV Dhinakaran-led Amma Makkal Munnetra Kazhagam in the party or in the alliance led by it.
The development comes a month ahead of the Assembly elections in Tamil Nadu on April 6.
Sasikala had been staying at her niece J Krishnapriya's residence in Chennai's T Nagar area after returning to the city in February following the completion of her four-year prison sentence in a disproportionate assets case.
The former AIADMK leader was discharged on January 31 from Bengaluru's Victoria hospital where she was undergoing COVID-19 treatment. She was officially released from judicial custody on January 27 after completing her four-year prison sentence in a disproportionate assets case.
In 2019, the Income Tax Department had attached properties worth Rs 1,600 crores belonging to her under the provisions of the Benami Transactions (Prohibition) Act.
After the demise of Jayalalithaa in December 2016, Sasikala was elected General Secretary of the AIADMK. She had handed over the control of the party to nephew Dhinkaran after being convicted in the disproportionate assets case in February 2017.
Edappadi Palaniswami was made Chief Minister with her backing but Sasikala was removed after rival faction led by O Panneerselvam, who had rebelled against Sasikala merged with the Palaniswami faction. Both Sasikala and Dhinakaran were removed in September 2017. (ANI)