What was Sasikala's hurry to become CM? OPS hits back after party criticism

“If I was not trustworthy, would Amma have made me the CM?” OPS asked AIADMK leaders who accused him of betraying the party.
What was Sasikala's hurry to become CM? OPS hits back after party criticism
What was Sasikala's hurry to become CM? OPS hits back after party criticism
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With O Panneerselvam’s late night media conference setting off seismic shocks across the TN political landscape, a section of AIADMK led by Sasikala has been quick to call into question his motives and loyalty. In a detailed interview with Puthiya Thalaimurai, OPS hit back at the party, stressing on his years of service to the AIADMK and the trust vested in him by late Chief Minister Jayalalithaa.

By contrast, he portrayed Sasikala as being impatient to secure her own power without understanding the people’s wishes.

Responding to the accusation that OPS was acting on behalf of the DMK to undermine the party, he countered that Jayalalithaa had always been sure of his loyalty. “She made me the Chief Minister in 2001 when she faced legal difficulties, and then again in 2014,” he said. “After an interval of 13 years, out of the 1.5 lakh cadres of the party, she once again chose me.”

In the intervening 13 years, he said, he had performed every responsibility, every post he had been given with the utmost discipline and loyalty. “Amma would only reward those who worked loyally and performed according to her expectations… All the posts I have got in my political career were given by Amma herself. I never demanded any of them. Would she have given me any of them if I was not trustworthy?” he asked.

OPS said that it had always been his way to never speak out in a way that hurt another person. Even on Tuesday night at Marina Beach, he said, he had not revealed everything. “I have only said 10% of what there is to say,” he said.

Adding to the renewed fire of doubt over Jayalalithaa’s treatment, OPS also revealed that he had not been allowed near Jayalalithaa during her illness. “I went to Apollo for 75 days, but I was never allowed to meet Amma even once,” he claimed.

In contrast to the image of his patient devotion, he portrayed Sasikala as being impatient, power-hungry and insensitive to the desires of the people. “What was her hurry to become the Chief Minister? I don’t know. Today, the party MLAs, MPs and I know the situation in Tamil Nadu, the mindset of the people, the cadres’ mindset. That’s why I wonder why she took such a hasty move.”

Hitting back at the accusations of political machinations behind his actions on Tuesday night, OPS denied that he was acting on behalf of the BJP and forces at the Centre. “I have no connections with BJP and my actions are my personal decisions,” he said.

While OPS was willing to assert his loyalty and clarify his dedication to the party, he said that he would not respond offensively to the party onslaught against him. “I will not respond to my party's criticism because they are stuck in a place where they are forced to behave in such a way,” he said.

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