CM K Palaniswami closes door on Sasikala

CM observed that AIADMK was now functioning properly without any hitch and there was no need to accommodate anybody

Chennai: Putting an end to all speculations of V K Sasikala walking out of jail and turning the political scene upside down in the State, Chief Minister Edappadi K Palaniswami categorically ruled out any possibility of taking her back in the party fold.

Taking questions from the media after meeting Prime Minister Narendra Modi at New Delhi on Tuesday, Palaniswami without any ambiguity stated that Sasikala was not part of the AIADMK and there was absolutely no chance of her joining the party.

Vehemently denying the rumours that the BJP was putting pressure on the AIADMK to let Sasikala and the AMMK, led by T T V Dhinakaran, into the party, he said the AIADMK was now functioning properly without any hitch and there was no need to accommodate anybody.

Insisting that he discussed nothing but issues relating to the development of the State with both the Prime Minister and also Home Minister Amit Shah, whom he called on Monday, the Chief Minister gave a long list of the projects to be inaugurated and to be launched. He had invited Modi for the events related to those projects, he said.

That the Prime Minister had not agreed to inaugurate the Jayalalithaa memorial inside the MGR Samadhi became evident when the government announced that the memorial would be declared open by the Chief Minister with Deputy Chief Minister O Panneerselvam presiding over the ceremony on January 27.

Earlier, it was said that Palaniswami was going to Delhi to invite the Prime Minister to inaugurate the memorial, besides seeking funds for the various projects. On Tuesday, he claimed that he 40 fishermen had been released from Sri Lankan jails after he took up the issue with Modi and assured that more fishermen would be released in the coming days.

Despite the open posturing of Palaniswami that no politics, meaning alliance issues, were discussed, BJP sources in the State said that they were happy with the outcome of the talks the Chief Minister had with their national leaders in Delhi.

It is said that the AIADMK had told the BJP that it would like to contest in 164 seats in the Assembly elections and not concerned as to whom the rest of the 70 seats goes. It means the BJP can distribute the 70 seats among the rest of the allies.

So if the BJP was keen on accommodating AMMK, it can give some seats from the 70 in their bag. Such an arrangement would give relief to the AIADMK from being intimidated by the PMK, which has laid down a pre-condition for continuing in the alliance, or the DMDK.

Those smaller parties would be negotiating with the BJP for seat-sharing and not the AIADMK. As Palaniswami himself told the media at New Delhi that different parties would have different ideologies and would like to develop their own outfits and that an alliance did not mean compromise on ideology, the AIADMK would like to go to the people on the strength of its own popularity.

Perhaps reflecting that stand was a tweet by School Education Minister K A Sengottiyan on Tuesday, saying that no one can shake the Dravidian movement in Dravidian land. Saying that it was the land of Periyar and the will of C N Annadurai and M G Ramachandran had reigned, he said J Jayalalithaa had eliminated the evil from the land.

The tweet sounded more like a message to the BJP and other parties like the PMK that had been speaking against Dravidian ideology and traditionally speaking about eliminating Dravidian parties, which include the AIADMK.

The AIADMK now hopes to romp home in the elections by enlightening the people about the various achievements of the government in the last four years and not by depending on other parties for votes.

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