Jayalalithaa revokes disciplinary action against Sasikala
Chennai, March 31 (IANS) AIADMK general secretary and Tamil Nadu Chief Minister J. Jayalalithaa Saturday revoked the disciplinary action initiated against her long time aide V.K. Sasikala, but reiterated that the action taken against her friend's relatives and close associates would continue.
In a statement issued here, Jayalalithaa said that Sasikala had written her a letter which was accepted by her. Sasikala later issued the contents of the letter as a statement.
Jayalalithaa said the disciplinary action (suspension from the party's primary membership) against Sasikala last December has been revoked.
However, the disciplinary action against close relatives of Sasikala, including against M. Natarajan and others, would continue and party members are advised not to have any contacts with them, Jayalalithaa said in her statement.
Jayalalithaa's change of heart came after Sasikala wrote a letter to her and later issued a statement on March 28 declaring that she wants to keep serving the Tamil Nadu chief minister.
Sasikala also said that she had severed her connections with her relatives and those who thought of betraying Jayalalithaa cannot be pardoned.
In her statement, Sasikala said she never dreamt of betraying the trust the former reposed in her and it had shocked her that her relatives had misused the AIADMK leader's position.
According to Sasikala, it was only in December, after Jayalalithaa cracked down on her family members, that she realized that her relatives and friends had misused her proximity to the chief minister.
In December, Jayalalithaa sacked Sasikala and several others from the basic membership of the party without giving any reason.
Sasikala had to leave Jayalaltihaa's residence where she had been living with the actor-turned-politician since 1988.
Jayalalithaa told party members not to have any contact with the lot.
Later, police started acting on complaints against the relatives of Sasikala.
Her husband Natarajan and some close relatives were arrested on several charges.
At the bureaucratic level, there were large scale transfers following the action against Sasikala and company.
At the party's general council meeting held in December, Jayalalithaa in an oblique reference to Sasikala and her relatives and associates who were recently dismissed from the party's primary membership said there are politicians who after being chucked out of the party threaten other members to behave as if they would be back again in the party.
Jayalalithaa declared that such people will never be pardoned and those party men who believe such people will also not be pardoned.
At that time, political commentators like Cho Ramaswamy and Gnani told IANS that the severance of relationship between Jayalalithaa and her long time confidante Sasikala this time around might be final and not an image-building exercise.
When contacted for his reaction on Saturday's development Ramaswamy told IANS: "I have no comments to make."
However, some political observers had told IANS that removing a person from the party and readmitting him/her again is nothing new and that the same could happen with Sasikala and her group.
It will be interesting to see whether Sasikala would reenter Jayalalithaa's house at Poes Garden located in the heart of Chennai.
Speaking to IANS, Gnani said: "Jayalalithaa still owes an explanation to the people as to why she dumps a person and takes him/her back."
Meanwhile, party officials declined to comment on the latest development.
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