Former Tamil Nadu CM J Jayalalithaa's nephew Deepak Jayakumar, who was last seen behind VK Sasikala in his aunt's funeral, has now openly criticised the elevation of TTV Dinakaran within the AIADMK.
Deepak, who has been vocal about his support for Sasikala taking up the post of the party's general secretary, has now questioned why her nephews TTV Dinakaran and Dr Venkatesh were inducted into the party, with the former even being made Deputy General Secretary of the AIADMK.
In an interview to News Xâ€™s Deputy News Editor Priyamvatha, Deepak alleged that there was an attempt by Sasikala's family to stamp their authority on the AIADMK and claimed that the cadre will not accept this.
"This is the most stupidest thing to do, to handover the party to TTV Dinakaran. The cadres won't accept this," he said.
He also told Karthigaichelvan of Puthiya Thalamurai TV, that he opposes TTV Dinakaran's elevation. "Sasikala can be in charge of party, but not Dinakaran. I won't accept it, no one will accept it. He does not have the merits to be in charge. I am not opposing Sasikala aunty."
Deepak, then surprisingly batted for O Panneerselvam and said that a man who has been CM thrice should take care of party. He also repeatedly told Puthiya Thalamurai that the AIADMK was like a family and fights between family members was normal.
In what could be a shot in the arm for former CM O Panneerselvam camp, he said, "I respect O Panneerselvam. He was a good Chief Minister and I support his administration." He added that the party will not split and everyone including OPS will come back to the party. He also said that he was hurt about OPS celebrating the Supreme Court verdict, as it had held Jayalalithaa guilty too.
Deepak accused the DMK of playing dynasty politics and only AIADMK should not be questioned.
When prodded further he said, "Which family does AIADMK belong to? Well, Deepa or I can run party, but I am not interested."
The former CM's nephew, who has in the past, spoken against his sister Deepa, claimed that even she had the right to take up the post given to Sasikala's nephews.
The Supreme Court has imposed a fine of Rs 100 crore that will need to be paid by Jayalalithaa's kin. Deepak said, "We are not a rich family. We will somehow pay the fine."
On the Poes Garden property owned by Jayalalithaa, Deepak said, "Deepa and me are the legal heirs, it belongs to us." However, he added that they will not stake claim. He also told PTTV that he had no issues with Sasikala and her family living there.
During his interview, he further staked his claim to J Jayalalithaa's Poes Garden residence and other properties, stating he would even pay the Rs 100 crore fine imposed by the Supreme Court for Jayalalithaaâ€™s conviction. Deepak said, "I will pay the Rs.100 crore fine for my aunt. I don't have the money but I will sell some properties. The Poes Garden and other properties belong to me and Deepa. Only we can enjoy them and nobody can claim these properties."
Deepakâ€™s change in stance comes just a week after Sasikala was sent to jail for the DA case. He was present at Golden Bay Resorts along with Sasikala and other MLAs on the day of the Supreme Court verdict.
TTV Dinakaran and Dr Venkatesh were inducted into the AIADMK on February 15, minutes before Sasikala left Jayalalithaaâ€™s Poes Garden residence for Bangalore Central Jail. They had been expelled along with other members of Sasikala from the AIADMK in December 2011 by Jayalalithaa.
Assuming charge of the party on Thursday morning, TTV Dinakaran said, "AIADMK is a party run by 1,5 crore people. A single person or a family cannot wield total control over the party. Karunanidhi's DMK is our prime enemy. They used OPS as a tool to defeat our govt. But they failed miserably."