With an incessant leadership crisis, major debacles in the assembly and rural local body polls, and with ongoing political tussle and trouble over the Kodanad heist murder case, it seems that expelled ADMK's General Secretary VK Sasikala has found a perfect time to take over the party and as the party is going to celebrate its golden jubilee, she is coming up with a big plan to bring the party under her control with the blessings of Jayalalithaa. Though the current duo takes efforts to keep her at bay, the reports suggest that Edappadi Palaniswami's tenure in the party is coming to an end.
ADMK will be celebrating its 50th anniversary on October 17, 2021, and apart from two leaders - MGR and Jayalalithaa, the five-decade-old party didn't see the raise of any popular leaders and the party would be celebrating the anniversary at the time of turbulence as nothing seems to be permanent in the faction. While the current leaders Edappadi Palaniswami and O Panneerselvam had announced that the party will celebrate the golden jubilee for a month, ADMK has nothing significant to lead the celebration.
The party had faced major blows under the leadership of Edappadi Palaniswami during his term as the Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu and as the joint coordinator of the party as he was surfaced with several allegations of tussles and corruption in his rule and in the party. As ADMK becomes one of the Indian parties to celebrate its 50th birthday, the party's base has been eroding since the demise of Jayalalithaa with a lack of able leadership and confidence. Edappadi Palaniswami has no victories to support his leadership while he also had earned rivalries inside the party.
Palaniswami had become the Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu after the demise of Jayalalithaa and under his leadership, the party has lost the 2019 Lok Sabha polls, winning only one seat, didn't retain its seats in the 2019 local body polls, it has lost the 2021 assembly polls, and the 2021 rural local body polls. While the voters had given the tag of the Opposition party for ADMK in the assembly, the recently-held rural local body polls had presented a huge embarrassment and disappointment for the ADMK cadres and these debacles had widened the divide in the party.
However, amid these debacles, amid Palaniswami's efforts to remove Panneerselvam from the decision making body of the party, the former Chief Minister has now been troubled by VK Sasikala as she is making up a big plan to oust Palaniswami. While both the leaders had the prospect to gain more points for their leadership, Sasikala has vowed that she will be definitely going to take over the control of the party and will oust Palaniswami and Panneerselvam from the leadership body.
According to our sources, VK Sasikala has been conducting discussions with her loyalists from ADMK and AMMK to take back the leadership of the party. She had held discussions with the key leaders of ADMK and AMMK on October 13 and was given the assignment to aid her in her political comeback. After that, Sasikala had enquired with former IAS officers, who were benefitted through Sasikala during Jayalalithaa's reign in the state, and spoken about her plan. The sources say that these former bureaucrats are still giving her advice and she had spoken with them about ADMK's golden jubilee celebration.
The former IAS officers had advised Sasikala to break her silence and come to active politics. The officers had said to Sasikala that she had announced her exit from active politics during the time of 2021 assembly polls and then after the election in which ADMK had faced a huge debacle, she had displayed that she is coming back to politics and she had directly spoken to the cadres of ADMK over the phone and affirmed that she will definitely come to politics and take over the party.
While her telephone outreach had instilled a belief among the ADMK cadres that she is coming back, she stopped speaking to the cadres. The former IAS officers had advised Sasikala that being silent would add more weakness in politics and appealed to her to come out and break the silence if she wants to take over the party. Based on their advice and growing leadership crisis in ADMK, Sasikala had finally taken a decision and recently, she has spoken with her loyalists in the ADMK and said that there should be a grand celebration as the party is marking its golden jubilee.
As per our sources, Sasikala said, "As I am silent, the traitors (Edappadi Palaniswami camp) have been thinking that I am getting weakened. I will show who I am during the party's 50th anniversary." Recently, it has come official that Sasikala has decided to visit Jayalalithaa's memorial during the anniversary - on Sunday, October 17th. However, she has now changed the plan and she will most likely visit the memorial on October 16 and she had petitioned the Chennai police to provide enough security at the memorial as her presence would bring hundreds of cadres from across the state.
Behind the decision of changing the plan, according to our sources, was that Edappadi Palaniswami, Panneerselvam, and other ADMK leaders would visit Jayalalithaa's memorial on October 17 and her presence on the same day would cause a melee between both the camps. Moreover, the current leaders may gain more limelight in the media and to avoid such incidents and to have an unhindered opening, Sasikala has planned to visit Jayalalithaa's memorial on October 16. She will be seeking blessings from Jayalalithaa to enter politics and to take over the control of her party. It must be remembered that before going for incarceration in 2017, Sasikala had visited Jayalalithaa's memorial and vowed three promises.
She will be visiting Jayalalithaa's memorial for the first time in four years and after visiting the memorial on Saturday and seeking blessings from whom she fondly calls her elder sister, Sasikala would be visiting the residence of MGR, the founder of ADMK, on Sunday. She will be visiting MGR's memorial house in T Nagar and MGR's residence in Ramapuram and would pay floral tribute to the late leader's statue that she erected. She will be then visiting the school of the deaf on the same premises and would be distributing some welfare assistance to the school.
As she is eyeing to come back to politics and to take over the ADMK on its anniversary, the leaders close to her have been sketching a tour plan for Sasikala to travel across Tamil Nadu to meet the ADMK cadres, though she was expelled from the party. She will be starting her journey by next month, after Diwali. However, commenting about her plan, senior ADMK leader D Jayakumar has on Friday said, "Sasikala shouldn't use the term 'Amma' (Jayalalithaa). It is unacceptable that Sasikala has been using ADMK's flag and general secretary title without any legal rights."