Deepa stakes claim to Jayaa��s legacy

Special Correspondent

Chennai: If the adage that blood is thicker than water were true, Deepa should make her mark in Tamil Nadu politics by mobilizing support of the masses who adored her aunt. Jayalalithaaa��s niece Deepa Jayakumar, who resembles her aunt in looks and mannerisms, has announced her entry into politics on Tuesday. Her claim to Jayaa��s legacy coincided with the 100th birth anniversary of the founder of AIADMK MG Ramachandran which was celebrated throughout Tamil Nadu.

Talking to media persons, Deepa said she is interested in politics and she has been waiting to work for the people. She did not specify whether she plans to join the AIADMK or float her own political party. Deepa said she would announce her next political move on the birth anniversary of her aunt and former chief minister J Jayalalithaa. a�?I plan to embark upon my political journey at an appropriate time,a�� she declared. Commenting that she is not happy with the elevation of Sasikala Natarajan as the party chief, she said a�?I cannot accept as party chief anybody other than my late aunt, Sasikalaa��a appointment was hurried through ignoring the sentiments of the party workers.a�?

Deepa who stayed with Jayalalithaa for some years at Poes Garden was very critical of Sasikala for keeping the last days of her aunt at the Apollo Hospitals shrouded in secrecy. Nobody, including the Congress Vice President Rahul Gandhi and Union Information & Broadcasting Minister Venkaiah Naidu was allowed to see the former chief minister at the hospital. Sasikala was handling everything and everybody while the chief minister was at hospital. Deepa wrote to Prime Minister Narendra Modi demanding a judicial inquiry into the death of Jayalalithaa. The PM did not respond. But the rumour that something was fishy about the whole affairs has reached the people arousing suspicion on Sasikala.

Deepa has been getting support from the AIADMK workers and local leaders. Crowds gathered at her house on Tuesday after she made her intentions known. Those who are against Sasikala are likely to stand by her. Sasikala is keen on taking over the administration as soon as possible so that her leadership would not be questioned by anyone and she can take care of the leaders who are unhappy with her. If the party and government are under her control, she knows how to keep the flock together.

A�Unconfirmed reports indicate that she is planning to take oath as chief minister on January 29. The day is auspicious. Like Jayalalithaa, Sasikala also is a stickler to religious beliefs and rituals. The position of the Sun will be firmly in Uttarayana (ascending Sun) from that date as January 27 is Amavasya. The leaders of the ruling party have of late stepped up their clamour for the elevation of Chinnamma. Chief Minister O Pannerselvam appears to have no supporters.

Sasikala has unveiled the statue of MGR on the occasion of his birth centenary and alleged that the BJP is trying to split her party. It was her first political statement after the demise of Amma.

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