Chennai: The AIADMK headquarters at Chennai witnessed violence on Wednesday over filing of nomination for the party’s most powerful post of general secretary.
There was ruckus inside the AIADMK HQ as rebel MP Sasikala Pushpa’s supporters entered the premises. Pushpa has expressed her desire to contest for the party’s general secretary post.
Pushpa, a Rajya Sabha MP expelled from AIADMK, was expected to come in person. However, she did not turn up. Instead, her supporters including her lawyers entered the premises to file the nomination papers.
A fight broke out between the Pushpa supporters and AIADMK cadres. The police had to intervene to disperse the crowd.
Majority of the AIADMK cadres are in favour of electing Sasikala Natarajan as the party’s general secretary after the death of former Tamil Nadu chief minister J Jayalalithaa. The two Sasikalas – Pushpa and Natarajan – are at loggerheads.
Pushpa has been alleging “foul play” in Jayalalithaa’s death and the manner in which politics in the party has played out ever since Amma was taken ill. She had questioned the need for convening of party MLAs when Jayalalithaa was being treated. She calls Natarajan one of the “unconstitutional authorities” who are deciding the fate of the party.
She alleged that in 2011, Jayalalithaa had spoken of a conspiracy hatched by Sasikala Natarajan to harm Amma. She had requested Prime Minister Narendra Modi to shift Jayalalithaa to AIIMS in the national capital.
Sasikala Pushpa was elected to the Rajya Sabha in 2014 when she was the Mayor of Tamil Nadu’s Thoothukudi. However, she was expelled from AIADMK August 1, 2016 for slapping DMK MP Tiruchi Siva at Delhi IGI airport.
Her expulsion preceded some dramatic scenes in the Upper House. She alleged that there was a threat to her life, though she did not name anyone. She also alleged that she was under pressure to quit from the Rajya Sabha.
On the other hand, Natarajan has become the most powerful leader in AIADMK after Jayalalithaa’s death. She has moved into Jayalalithaa’s lavish Poes Garden residence. Natarajan has been calling the shots in the party and is all set to being elected to the general secretary’s post, which was held by Jayalalithaa.
Natarajan’s detractors view it as a precursor to replace O Panneerselvam as the state’s chief minister.