Weeks after speculation that she had quit politics, J Deepa, the niece of late Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa has announced that the MGR Amma Deepa Peravai that she founded will merge with the AIADMK. She told the media that this was a decision that was taken after consultation with party cadre and was partially due to her ill-health.
According to reports, in July, Deepa had told the media that she was quitting politics, two years after floating her party, due to the lack of a mentor in the political field. She claimed that her experience as a politician was painful and disappointing and that it was difficult to sustain as a woman politician. She had further claimed that her party had been merged with AIADMK in March, though there was no official announcement. On Monday however, she held a press conference to make her party's position clear.
"The MGR Amma Deepa Peravai will join the AIADMK whole-heartedly. After Puratchi thalaivi Amma's death - on February 24 2017 - as her relative and successor, waves of people came to my home. They called me to politics. For the sake of the AIADMK followers I started the party," she told the media. "It has been two years and I've run it despite hurdles. At the same time, my husband Madhavan began a party. Both parties were united at a meeting in Salem. We have been functioning as one party. My aunt and former CM J Jayalalithaa - she had said that AIADMK will function for 100 years after her. I took this up as an aim and have now decided to merge my party with AIADMK. All my party cadre have expressed support for this decision," she added.
She further pointed out that her party had supported AIADMK in the recently concluded Lok Sabha elections and bye-polls.
"My party expressed support to AIADMK in the recent elections and AIADMK leaders too accepted this support," she says. "They even told the media about it. In continuance of this, our cadre have been in communication with me and requested that the work for a merger be finished soon," she adds.
Deepa further claimed that this decision was taken due to health reasons and her inability to put in the hours required to sustain the party.
"Since my health is not cooperating, I haven't been able to do any party or organisational work. I have been forced to take rest and spoke about this earlier to the press," she says. "I am not changing my stance. Since my health is affected, I can't shoulder any heavy responsibilities for six months," she adds.
She has however not mentioned what role she will be playing following the merger.