VK Sasikala is out of politics... How ADMK and BJP reacted to her sudden decision?

Proving once again that she is an unpredictable woman of presenting a pack of surprise and disappointments, expelled ADMK General Secretary VK Sasikala had unfolded a sudden twist on the political ground that is getting for the battle of assembly polls. Taking many to surprise and rising many eyebrows, Sasikala had on Wednesday announced that she is quitting politics and said that her decision was with the view of forming a golden rule of Jayalalithaa in the state. 

Sasikala's decision has come when she was surfaced with large-scale speculations over her political resurgence and with expectations from her supporters on taking the control of the ADMK ahead of the assembly polls. Sasikala has arrived in Chennai on February 9, days after completing her four-year prison sentence in Bengaluru. She was given the rousing welcome by her supporters and members of the AMMK party and the fashion of reception was evident on how her supporters expected her political rise. 

Sasikala had addressed her supporters for the first time in four years amid the 23-hour long roadshow from Bengaluru to Chennai and during her address, she asserted that she will definitely plunge into active politics and said that she will meet the supporters soon and would unveil her decision. The current ADMK leaders, who expelled her from the party in 2017, were irked by her comeback and shocked to witness a rousing welcome and on her assertion of active politics.

Sasikala has been staying at her relative Krishnapriya's residence in T Nagar, Chennai and she was confined within the residence during which it was said that she has been drawing out a plan for political resurgence and to begin her game of taking over the ADMK party. However, Sasikala didn't have any public meetings and kept the political spotlight revolve around her on how she is going to proceed further. Two weeks after her arrival, she addressed the reporters for the first time on February 24 at the backdrop of Jayalalithaa's 73rd birth anniversary. 

During her address, she broke her silence and said that the true cadres of Amma (Jayalalithaa) have to come together to work towards forming Jayalalithaa's government. She said, "Supporters of Jayalalithaa should come together and our aim should be what Jayalalithaa had told us- ADMK should rule the state for 100 years. We should keep that always in our hearts. All the cadres must ensure that the party wins and we should form Jayalalithaa's government. I believe we will do it because you are the true supporters of Jayalalithaa. You all will make it possible and I'll meet the public and cadres soon".  Her address had drawn major significance as it carried the message of her political resurgence. 

However, in ten days, she had twisted the tale and unfolded a high-level political drama by announcing that she will quit politics. She issued a statement on Wednesday in which she said, "I have decided to stay off from active politics to ensure that the golden rule of Jayalalithaa is formed in the state. I am praying hard to my elder sister (Jayalalithaa) whom I consider as god and the God Almighty for establishing good governance". "The true followers of Amma should strive to fight against the evil DMK and aim to establish Amma's government. I will forever remain thankful for the Tamil Nadu people", she added. 

Her sudden decision had given an overwhelming shock to her supporters and members who hoped for her political resurgence. As Sasikala has aborted her assertion of plunging into active politics, her decision had stirred a fresh round of speculations and political debates of what's next and whether she would voice her support to AMMK even if she is not entering active politics. Her decision had undeniably surprised and disappointed many who thought of rising in politics under her banner. But if there is someone who relished her decision, it would be the current leaders of the ruling ADMK as Sasikala's wave has got weakened.

When her decision came out, many leaders expressed their reactions to how her decision impacted them. Reacting to Sasikala's decision, ADMK Deputy Coordinator KP Munusamy said he was happy to note that Sasikala remained loyal to Jayalalithaa. Munusamy stated that it is Dhinakaran, who is creating hurdles for the continuation of Jayalalithaa's government in Tamil Nadu and Jayalalithaa had kept Dhinakaran away from politics for more than ten years. 

Tamil Nadu Congress Committee President KS Alagiri said Sasikala had escaped the trap laid by BJP, which wanted to take control of ADMK by triggering an intra-party tussle. Alagiri said, "Sasikala had enough experience in understanding politics and governance, having spent several years assisting Jayalalithaa in carrying out her work. But, she lacked the stature of a tall leader". On the other hand, BJP had also welcomed her decision. According to reports, Tamil Nadu BJP President Murugan welcomed her decision and said that Sasikala has hanged out a big disappointment to those who were dreaming to capture power in Tamil Nadu by creating confusion using her. 

Thaniyarasu, who is an MLA in the ADMK alliance, had expressed his disappointment over Sasikala's decision of quitting politics. Thaniyarasu was one of the few political leaders to meet Sasikala at her residence. It was said that Thaniyarasu was mulling to join hands with Sasikala to contest in the assembly polls. However, Sasikala has now presented him a disappointment by announcing her decision of staying off from politics. Along with Thaniyarasu, Sasikala's supporters had also braced up the disappointment. 

While her decision came as a big relief for ADMK, it has come as a major shock for Sasikala's nephew TTV Dhinakaran. Dhinakaran had addressed the reporters on Wednesday after meeting Sasikala and after knowing her decision. During his address, Dhinakaran said, "I'm saddened by her decision and I tried my best to convince her to change the decision. I will keep trying and it's not a setback for me as AMMK will continue contesting this election under my leadership". In Sasikala's exit, ADMK sees the entry of relaxation as the party can now allay fears that Sasikala would drift the party. Her decision has come one month ahead of the assembly polls. Tamil Nadu will go to the polls on April 6 and the votes will be counted on May 2, during which the winner will be declared.