As Tamil Nadu counts the hours for the return of former CM Jayalalithaa’s aide Sasikala, her nephew TTV Dhinakaran came up with a rather cryptic comment about how active she will be after her return.
Dhinakaran, who is currently on a tour of temples, told reporters in Tenkasi that Sasikala will certainly contest elections. Asked whether ‘Chinnamma’ as Sasikala is known, will contest elections after she returns from Bangalore, Dhinakaran said “undoubtedly she will”.
Asked who would be the CM candidate if she contests, he said she herself would decide that. To another question on whether she will contest elections in alliance with the ruling AIADMK, which has distanced itself from her, Dhinakaran merely said “wait and watch”.
While it is well known that as per law Sasikala cannot contest an election for another six years, his comment has set off speculation on whether there is any legal loophole by which she can contest the forthcoming polls, or whether he meant she would contest elections at a later point after six years; or whether she would simply remain politically active by fielding her relatives or other chosen candidates. (Anyone convicted for four years under the prevention of corruption act cannot contest an election for six years after serving her sentence).
Dhinakaran is the founder of the AMMK party and is an MLA in the current assembly, having won the byelection in Jayalalithaa’s erstwhile constituency RK Nagar after her death.
Asked about the controversy over the use of the AIADMK flag on Sasikala, her nephew said it was laughable that top ministers of the ADMK had gone to the DGP to complain about this.
“Nobody can object to our use of any party flag, in fact anybody can use party flags, there are no rules to prohibit it. Earlier they had even objected to our use of Jayalalithaa’s photos, but that is not valid either. There is no rule that we cannot display her photos. Similarly, not just the DGP, even if the commanders of the three forces come, they cannot stop anyone from using a party flag,” he said.