In the run-up to the Tamil Nadu assembly elections, Editor of Thuglak magazine S Gurumurthy remarked that if the AIADMK wanted to oppose DMK, they needed to take back Sasikala in their fold. The statement by Gurumurthy comes as the AIADMK is to hold a general body meeting on Saturday where key issues including the party's alliance with the BJP and the release of Sasikala are likely to be some of the matters of discussion.
While speaking at Thuglak magazine's 51st-anniversary function, the Editor remarked, "If the AIADMK wants to oppose the DMK, they must include people like Sasikala."
Sasikala has been lodged in jail since February 2017 when the Supreme Court upheld her conviction by a special court in Bengaluru in a disproportionate assets case and sentenced her to four years imprisonment. She has also been probed for her alleged involvement in former Tamil Nadu CM Jayalalithaa's death with the Arumugasamy commission requesting the Home Secretary's permission to record her statement.
The AIADMK currently harbours two major factions within the party. With Sasikala's ouster by then-Chief Minister K Palaniswami-led camp, Deputy CM O Pannerselvam (OPS) and CM E Palaniswamy (EPS) reconciled. This, after the party named incumbent E Palaniswamy as its CM candidate and O Panneerselvam as the chief of the 11-member steering committee.
However, with the former Jayalalithaa aide all set to be released from the Parappana Aghrahara prison on January 27, it remains to be seen how her comeback hits CM Palaniswami who has been projected by his party as CM for the 2021 elections.
Earlier, when asked if Sasikala's return would hamper AIADMK's chances in the upcoming polls, TN CM Edappadi Palaniswami told the media that her release will have 'zero impact' on the party and categorically stated that no changes would happen after her release.
Assembly elections in Tamil Nadu are due during April-May 2021 and the political parties have started their campaign. While DMK's MK Stalin is eyeing becoming Chief Minister for the first time, AIADMK has arrived at reconciliation between two warring factions - of Deputy CM O Pannerselvam (OPS) and CM E Palaniswamy (EPS). Incumbent E Palaniswamy has been named as its CM candidate and O Panneerselvam as the chief of the 11-member steering committee. On the other side, AIADMK has said that they are the big-brother within the NDA alliance. Meanwhile, Kamal Hassan is on a campaign trail and Alagiri has said that the launch of his political party will be in January. Superstar Rajinikanth who was about to launch his party this year has backed out due to health reasons.