In a significant development, expelled AIADMK general secretary VK Sasikala hinted at her return to politics, promising to 'restore' her party after AIADMK's performance in the Tamil Nadu Elections. In what is said to be a recorded call between Sasikala and one of her party cadres, the former Jayalalithaa aide can be heard reassuring her party workers about the future of AIADMK.
"I hope you're all doing well and keeping safe. Don't need to worry. We will restore the party," Sasikala says in the 1.11-minute voice call which is doing the rounds on social media.
In February 2017, Sasikala was sentenced to four years imprisonment after the Supreme Court upheld her conviction by a special court in Bengaluru in a disproportionate assets case. This came at a time when she was being heavily probed for her alleged role in Tamil Nadu heavyweight Jayalalithaa's death.
With Sasikala's ouster by then-Chief Minister K Palaniswami, the two warring factions in the party led by O Pannerselvam (OPS) and E Palaniswamy (EPS) reconciled. The duo made peace after AIADMK named E Palaniswamy as its CM candidate and O Panneerselvam as the chief of the 11-member steering committee.
In 2021, all eyes were on VK Sasikala once again who was to be released from the Parappana Aghrahara prison just months before the crucial Tamil Nadu Elections. However, the AIADMK made it quite certain that her release would be inconsequential to the party. Then CM EPS ruled out the return of Sasikala into AIADMK's folds and brushed off the effect of her release onto the party's chances in the elections.
While Sasikala remained in the backdrop during this time, EPS lost the elections after the AIADMK managed to secure only 66 seats while its allies won BJP and PMK won around 9 seats together. MK Stalin-led DMK on the other hand sailed to victory after bagging 133 seats alone and another 26 with allies such as the Congress, CPI, etc.
Now the latest statement by Sasikala to her party workers has set the rumor mills abuzz on whether she would finally return to politics to take reigns of the AIADMK after its election drubbing under EPS and OPS.