In an unexpected political drama that stirred furores in ADMK and across Tamil Nadu, the event that brought the rivals to the same point has become the talk of the town. On Tuesday, ADMK joint coordinator and Tamil Nadu Opposition leader Edappadi Palaniswami had arrived at the Apollo Hospitals in Chennai to visit ADMK's Presidium chairman Madhusudhanan, who was getting treated in the hospital. The unpredicted event that happened in the hospital had stunned the ADMK leaders when they were expressing their wishes to Madhusudhanan for his speedy recovery.
Edappadi Palaniswami had arrived at the hospital to meet Madhusudhanan. However, when he was in the hospital, he got the unexpected news that expelled ADMK General Secretary, and his arch-nemesis VK Sasikala has also arrived at the hospital to visit Madhusudhanan. Shocked to know the arrival of whom he had an allegiance with four years ago, Palaniswami had prepared to leave the hospital when Sasikala was surrounded by the media and her supporters.
According to reports, the former Chief Minister had prepared to leave the hospital before Sasikala enters the hospital. Palaniswami had used another exit of the hospital to evade any eye-to-eye contact with her rival. Sasikala's arrival was unpredicted and it neither had conveyed to her supporters nor to the hospital administration. To fuel the trouble to the ADMK, Sasikala had erected an ADMK flag in her car, to display that she can't be vanished from the party.
It was a bolt from the blue moment for Edappadi Palaniswami and when Sasikala arrived at the hospital, Palaniswami, and the leaders who accompanied him, had hurriedly gone from the hospital. The visuals from the hospital were going viral on social media and caused a stir within the party over Sasikala's arrival with the ADMK flag, which irked Edappadi Palaniswami and the party. The event has come amid the ongoing tussle between the rivals in controlling the party and Sasikala's apparent efforts for the political resurgence.
According to reports, Madhusudhanan had been a loyalist of the ADMK since the era of MG Ramachandran. Madhusudhanan had also served as a minister in the ADMK government of Jayalalithaa and he has been serving as the ADMK's Presidium president for the past ten years. His post was the second powerful position in the party after the General Secretary. He was suffering from his age-related ailments and has been getting treated at the Apollo Hospitals, Chennai. As a trusted leader of the party, Madhusudhanan had observed good ties with Jayalalithaa, and of course with VK Sasikala.
After learning about his health condition, the ADMK leaders have been meeting him at the hospital. Rivals Edappadi Palaniswami and VK Sasikala had also decided to visit the veteran leader in the hospital and it's a coincidence that both of the rivals had come to the hospital on the same day at the same time. The reports say that after being informed about Sasikala's arrival, Palaniswami had suddenly left the hospital without meeting Madhusudhanan.
In what has become a first public appearance by Sasikala in four months, the expelled leader has said that she had come to meet Madhusudhanan after learning his health condition. She said that the veteran leader was a loyalist of MG Ramachandran (MGR) and Jayalalithaa. Sasikala had spent 15 minutes in the hospital and said, "Madhusudhanan had started MGR Mandram in North Chennai in 1952 when he was just 16 years. He was so affectionate towards Thalaivar (MGR). He was also a member of the legislative council.
VK Sasikala's surprise entry and meeting Madhusudhanan had sparked speculations in the political circle as the ailing politician is in Edappadi Palaniswami's camp and as the party's presidium chairman, he can enjoy the rights of using the party's 'two leaves' symbol and he is in the control of Palaniswami-Panneerselvam camp. While there is a legal battle in the party's election symbol, Sasikala's meeting with Madhusudhanan has earned a political spotlight across and beyond the state and the political observers say that Sasikala's meet fuels her efforts to take over the party from the current leadership.
For the past few weeks, Sasikala has been speaking with the ADMK cadres over the phone to test their mind in supporting her and to understand the party's situation. Almost all the cadres had supported Sasikala and she had asserted that she will come to active politics and will set the things in the party right. On the other hand, Palaniswami has been taking efforts to barricade Sasikala's entry into the party by claiming that she won't be welcomed by the functionaries.
The party leadership had also passed resolutions against Sasikala in a bid to retain the control and they had fired a dozen of leaders who spoke with Sasikala over the phone. As Edappadi Palaniswami is trying his best to keep Sasikala at the bay and not to meet her, the event on Tuesday was too close to change that as it had created a situation for a face-to-face meeting between the rivals. However, after knowing about Sasikala's shocking entry, Edappadi Palaniswami had exited the hospital suddenly and ADMK leader D Jayakumar had slammed Sasikala for using the ADMK flag with having no connection with the party.