AIADMK party co-coordinator and chief minister Edappadi K Palaniswami (EPS) has reiterated that the party is under no pressure to bring back VK Sasikala.
“There is neither pressure on us to take back Sasikala in the party nor any need to do so. We are completely independent,” he said in an exclusive interview to ‘Puthiya Thalaimurai’, a Tamil news channel, during an election campaign in Coimbatore recently.
Sasikala, a close confidante of former chief minister late J Jayalalithaa, was released on Wednesday (January 27) following the completion of a four-year jail term in a disproportionate assets case.
There are rumours that the release of Sasikala would change the political climate within AIADMK. However, EPS rubbished all such claims and said, a couple of days before Sasikala’s release, that he is “under no pressure to accommodate her”.
“TTV Dhinakaran is constantly giving out wrong information that AMMK would merge with AIADMK soon. That’s why when I was in Delhi last week I said there is absolutely no chance of taking back Sasikala in the party,” EPS added.
On the matter of alliance, the chief minister said, “The alliance was formed for Lok Sabha elections and it would continue for the assembly elections too.”
“Each party has its own policies. As part of their strategy, they are seeking more seats this election. Each party knows its strengths and we hope their leaders will seek seats accordingly. I am confident that we will arrive at an amicable conclusion during seat-sharing discussions. We expect that each of our allies follows ‘give and take’ policy,” Palaniswami said.
The CM said that when AIADMK lead the NDA alliance in parliamentary elections, it is natural that it will lead the alliance in assembly elections too. “The party which contests more seats has the right to form the government and only that party gets to choose a chief minister. Here, we are the party contesting a higher number of seats. The seat-sharing will happen under our leadership. So everything is clearly progressing our way. The media is trying to create a divide between us,” EPS said.
When asked about claims of a strained relationship between him and deputy chief minister O Panneerselvam, who is also the AIADMK coordinator, EPS said the news is false. “There are no differences between us and we continue to work together,” he said.