A close aide of Sasikala told TNM that she is going to start meeting leaders after lockdown, and plans for her comeback to politics are in play.

Sasikala
news Coronavirus Thursday, June 03, 2021 - 16:38

Three days after two audio clips by VK Sasikala speaking to AIADMK cadres went viral, another clip was ‘leaked’ on Thursday, with similar content. The close aide of former Chief Minister and AIADMK chief J Jayalalithaa, who has been edged out by Edappadi Palaniswami and O Panneerselvam after Sasikala was jailed, is once again heard repeating that she will be meeting cadres of the party soon. "The cadre has started talking to me and I understand that they are upset. I will definitely definitely come to meet you all one the coronavirus cases reduce," she is heard saying in the audio clip. 

The ‘leaks’ are a part of a larger plan, setting in motion Sasikala’s comeback to politics. She was jailed in February 2017 in a disproportionate assets case, days after she took charge as the general secretary of the AIADMK. And while she was in prison in Bengaluru, her chosen Chief Minister Edappadi Palaniswami joined hands with her detractor O Panneerselvam to oust her from the party altogether. When she was released from prison earlier this year, there was tremendous buzz around what role she would play in the Assembly elections in the state held in April-May this year. However, Sasikala said she was moving away from politics. 

Now, things are in play for a comeback for the controversial leader. On Sunday, two audio clips were ‘leaked’ where Sasikala promised that she will definitely return to politics and asked the cadre not to worry. She also assured the cadre that everything can be set right in the party. In another audio clip, speaking to an AIADMK member named Suresh, Sasikala said that she was pained by the fights in the AIADMK and that she will come back soon to politics since they went through a lot of difficulties while developing the party — and that she cannot see it go waste.

“Letters are accumulating for her from AIADMK cadres, requesting her to come back to politics at the earliest,” a close aide of Sasikala told TNM. “So she decided to call and speak to a few people, and has now decided to definitely make a comeback to politics. Once the lockdown is over, she will be meeting many leaders and cadres of the party,” he added. 

Sasikala was released from Parappana Agrahara prison on January 27 this year. She travelled from Bengaluru to Chennai in a massive roadshow, which was also seen as a show of strength before the Tamil Nadu Assembly Elections 2021, on February 8. She took a 23-hour drive with her supporters welcoming her at various checkpoints. The move then to stay away from politics was seen by political observers as a ‘wait and watch’ play, rather than a decision to quit politics altogether. 

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