DMK deputy general secretary Subbulakhsmi quits, causes a flutter

CHENNAI: The announcement by DMK’s deputy general secretary Subbulakshmi Jagadeesan that she was quitting politics on Tuesday dispelled the swirling speculations that had filled the State’s political arena in the past few days but shifted the attention to the internal politics in the party that is suspected to be the reason for the veteran leader to leave the DMK.

Though 75-year-old Jagadeesan, a member since 1980, had send in her resignation on August 29 itself, the party had been keeping mum about it even when too many rumours were making their rounds on her reported disenchantment with the party and politics in general ever since she kept off the DMK’s Muperum Vizha at Virudhunagar on September 15.

While it is said that the party honchos were trying to talk to the senior leader, who had served as Union Minister of State for Social Justice and Empowerment from 2004 to 2009, and convince her to stay on, the rumours of her quitting the party started taking different shapes after she did not attend the high-level meeting of the DMK on Monday.

Perhaps in a bid to put an end to all speculations – one of which was that she would be joining the BJP – she came out with a statement explaining that she had told former Chief Minister M Karunanidhi that she would be working for the party only after her Lok Sabha term came to an end in 2009.

In that statement she refrained from mentioning her subsequent electoral contest in 2021 that turned out to be fiasco when she lost to BJP candidate C Saraswati in Modakurichi constituency by a thin margin.

Insiders say that Jagadeesan suspected the hidden hand of some DMK leaders from the district behind her defeat and tried to raise the issue with the party high command in vain. It was that resentment over the party not taking any action against some local leaders whom she suspected to be instrumental in giving the BJP another seat in the Assembly that impelled her resignation, it is said.

However, Jagadeesan had ruled out joining any political party and said she wanted to retire from politics. DMK spokesperson T K S Elangovan said that she was not keeping good health and hence wanted to keep away from active politics.

Whatever it was, it is said that her husband Jagdeesan had been putting out posts in social media against the DMK government from some time, triggering the rumours that she was angry with the party much earlier.

Trained to be a school teacher, Subbulakshmi Jagadeesan, who holds BSc and BT degrees, was first elected from the Modakurichi Assembly constituency in an AIADMK ticket in 1977 and became a minister in the M G Ramachandran government. She was also a minister in the Karunanidhi government between 1989 to 91.

In 1992, she was arrested, along with her husband, under the draconian TADA and imprisoned for nine months for allegedly aiding the LTTE.

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