Revolt within AIADMK? Deepa Jayakumar reignites Jayalalithaa legacy wars

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Over a month after the death of Jayalalithaa, her niece Deepa Jayakumar on Tuesday confirmed that she would make her foray into Tamil Nadu politics. Making explicit her political ambitions, Jayakumar announced that "a landmark announcement" would be made on February 24, Jayalalithaa's birthday.

As if to cement her position in the Tamil Nadu political circuit, she paid homage to All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam founder M G Ramachandran at his memorial at Marina beach on his 100th birth anniversary.

Deepa Jayakumar and Sasikala Natarajan

"I have only two options; either join the AIADMK or float a new party. I will discuss with my supporters before making the decision," she said throwing a challenge of sorts to Sasikala Natarajan.

Hundreds of supporters including AIADMK workers gathered outside Deepa Jayakumar's residence in Chennai on Tuesday urging her to take Jayalalithaa's position in the party. Addressing the press, she said that Sasikala Natarajan's family was wrong in claiming credit for the party as well as Jayalalithaa.

"Claims made by her (Sasikala's) family are wrong. Jayalalithaa was not guarded by Sasikala's family. She functioned on her own. I will talk no more, elect me to the assembly or the parliament and I will speak there," she stated.

Refusing to take a dig at Sasikala directly, she said that Chief Minister O Panneerselvam was doing a good job with his office and that she did not think a personal comment on Sasikala was necessary. She nonetheless did not miss the opportunity to highlight her concern. "Larger section of the people are of the opinion that AIADMK has been taken over by one family. I cannot accept anyone apart from M G Ramachandran or Jayalalithaa as the leaders of the party," she said taunting Sasikala Natarajan who took over the leadership of the party recently.

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