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'When he was pushed against the wall, he had to retaliate'

February 09, 2017 19:24 IST

 

'He was doing so well as the CM, which some vested interests didn't like.'
'They didn't like his stature growing day by day.'

Ever since O Panneerselvam decided to stand up against Sasikala Natarajan's plans to become Tamil Nadu chief minister, Sathyan Rajan, former IT wing joint secretary, All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam, and his friend Aspire Swaminthan, the AIADMK's former IT wing secretary, have been trying to garner support for OPS on social media.

Sathyan Rajan moved from the corporate world because of his adulation for 'Amma', as former chief minister J Jayalalithaa was known.

Now that Amma is no more, he says his support is for Amma's "son", OPS 'Anna' (elder brother).

The moment Sathyan Rajan found that OPS had decided to carve a path for himself, he shared the phone numbers of all 132 AIADMK MLAs along with the names of their constituencies on his Facebook page so that people could call them and air their opinion.

Sathyan Rajan, left, explains to Rediff.com's Shobha Warrier why he is working for OPS and what his mission is right now.

Our job is to ensure that the MLAs hear the voices of the people. After that, it is up to the conscience of the MLAs to act.

You have been trying to garner support for OPS through your Facebook page...

OPS Anna has been an Amma loyalist. There were several instances where Amma took time off to praise Anna for his loyalty to the party.

On occasions when Amma could not function as the chief minister, she entrusted the job to him.

Everybody in the party knows that he was Amma's trusted lieutenant.

Anna is Amma's natural successor.

When did you get the hint that Sasikala would take over the party and the government?

There were indications that the Mannargudi family (Sasikala and her family are from Mannargudi, Tamil Nadu) would try to take over the party.

The first open indication was their presence around Amma's body (on December 6, 2016).

Sasikala being there with Amma at Apollo hospital did not surprise anyone as she was the person who was taking care of Amma, but when nobody was allowed to see Amma, speculation started.

People grew suspicious and a lot of stories started floating around.

Then, like Anna said on Wednesday, Dinakaran told him that he wanted his sister to be the CM.

It was a surprise to all of us because there was no urgency to take over the government.

We have the majority to rule for another five years. Why this hurry to take over when Anna was doing well? We don't know.

He is Amma's true successor as she herself had chosen him as one several times. He was identified by Amma as his successor.

Why was it that nobody including OPS spoke till that day?
OPS was the person who put forward her name for the post of general secretary and also the chief minister.
Preparations for the swearing-in ceremony had also taken place on that day.
Why did he choose to open up on the day he did?

He only had the interests of the party till then.

He has been with the party from 1977. He has seen the party grow from 25 lakh members to 1.5 crore.

He didn't want to do anything that would be detrimental to the party's image.

But when he was pushed against the wall, he had to retaliate, again for the party.

What was the trigger point that made him go to Jayalalithaa's samadhi?

He was doing so well as the CM, which some vested interests didn't like. They didn't like his stature growing day by day.

Why did you decide to support OPS and not Sasikala?

I would describe OPS Anna as Amma's son.

He is Amma's true successor as she herself had chosen him as one several times. He was identified by Amma as his successor.

Did she identify anybody else? There is nobody more loyal than him in the party and that was why Amma chose him.

How are you using social media to garner support for OPS among the youth of the state?

What happened was none of the MLAs was accessible to the people for the last couple of days.

Anna said the MLAs should talk to the people of their constituencies and take a decision.

He said he would abide by whatever people say.

That's when I decided to share the numbers of all MLAs with the names of their constituencies on my Facebook page.

You won't believe, in three hours' time, it crossed five-and-a-half lakhs hits.

Let the judgment come from the people who elected these MLAs.

After this, so many people have started calling their MLAs.

We have the majority to rule for another five years. Why this hurry to take over when Anna was doing well?

We also have publicised a toll-free number (92892 22028) to which anyone who wants to support OPS Anna can call.

We also have a WhatsApp group for 50 districts connecting people with the leaders.

Now, the cadres also have started expressing their views.

Our phones are continuously ringing ever since we started our campaign.

We know people are behind Anna. Yesterday (Wednesday), 3,000 students came to Anna's residence to pledge their support to him.

There is a huge amount of public support for Anna.

There is a youth uprising in the state after the jallikattu incident and the youth of the state is fully behind him.

Our job is to ensure that the MLAs hear the voices of the people.

After that, it is up to the conscience of the MLAs to act.

Our mission is to see that OPS Anna forms the government.

Do you think OPS got the courage to stand up because of the support he gets from the Centre?

I don't think so. The Centre has nothing to do with his action. It is the media that is talking about the Centre's role.

See, what you need is the support of the people and not the Centre.

The Centre cannot ask the MLAs and people to support him.

And he is one person who doesn't get carried away by power.

He is only voicing the opinion of the people.

More MUST READ features on Tamil Nadu's political drama in the RELATED LINKS below.

Shobha Warrier / Rediff.com