Senior All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam leader D Jayakumar on Wednesday slammed V K Sasikala, confidante of late party supremo J Jayalalithaa, for attempting to create confusion in the party using "audio politics" and for trying to "divide and rule."
Such designs would never succeed, the former minister asserted, and wondered how Sasikala could stake claim to the party when she was not even a primary member.
Against the backdrop of her talking over phone with a section of AIADMK functionaries in recent times and who were subsequently expelled from the party, Jayakumar alleged she was trying to create confusion.
Hence, she indulged in "audio politics" (a pointer to her phone conversations which are being made available to media outlets and shared in social media) and no AIADMK worker would accept it, he told reporters in Chennai .
Hitting out at Sasikala for attempting "divide and rule," and to "capture" the party, he said such a thing would never happen.
The cadres are vigilant and fully understand the "kind of conspirators they are", Jayakumar alleged in an apparent reference to Sasikala and her nephew TTV Dhinakaran, who is the chief of Amma Makkal Munnetera Kazhagam, adding, "Such conspiracies will not succeed".
K C Veeramani, also a former minister, has said that Sasikala was speaking to some party people merely using "black sheep" while both O Panneerselvam and K Palaniswami were continuing to safeguard the party and its interests.
Sasikala, opposing the removal of functionaries from the party for speaking to her over phone, had told a loyalist that she would have retained O Panneerselvam as chief mMinister in 2017 had he not rebelled against her.
In March, ahead of the assembly polls, Sasikala had said that "she will stay away from politics," but would pray for the return of Jayalalithaa's "golden rule".
She became AIADMK interim general secretary following Jayalalithaa's demise in 2016 and this appointment was rescinded at a general council meet in 2017 and it also announced the invalidation of all appointments made by Dhinakaran.
This meet also created new posts of coordinator and co-coordinator for OPS and EPS respectively, giving them all powers and the factions led by the duo had come together by then, while Sasikala and her followers were dislodged.
Since then, the AIADMK had made it clear that there was no scope for rapprochement with Sasikala or her relatives.
Eventually, Dhinakaran floated the Amma Makkal Munnetra Kazhagam in 2018 and had said often that retrieval of the AIADMK was his outfit's goal.
A case by Sasikala, challenging the 2017 AIADMK general council resolutions, including removing her from the post of interim general secretary, is pending in a city civil court and the matter is posted for next hearing on June 18.
Sasikala had real clout in the AIADMK during Jayalalithaa’s reign and served a four-year prison sentence (2017-2021) in Bengaluru following her conviction in an assets case, returning to Tamil Nadu in February this year to a grand welcome from her supporters.