Sasikala approaches Chennai court over her removal as AIADMK General Secretary

Sasikala approaches Chennai court over her removal as AIADMK General Secretary
In her first major effort to wrest control of the AIADMK after being released from the Parappana Agrahara prison, VK Sasikala, aide of former Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa, has approached a Chennai court challenging her removal as General Secretary of the party in 2017. The hearing in this case has been listed for March 15. According to reports, the case which was originally before the Madras High court was transferred to the civil court, as the latter's jurisdiction had been increased. As per the representation, the petitioners are Sasikala and AMMK chief TTV Dhinakaran. The respondents meanwhile are Presidium Chairman E Madhusudanan, Deputy Chief Minister O Panneerselvam, former minister S Semmalai and Chief Minister Edappadi Palaniswami. Sasikala was released from prison on January 27 after serving four years of imprisonment in connection to the disproportionate assets case. She spent the last days of her prison time getting treated for COVID-19 at Victoria Hospital in Bengaluru and was discharged after she tested negative. She returned to Chennai on February 8 in a massive homecoming roadshow. Her team had ensured that she travelled in cars bearing the AIADMK flag and a large roadshow had been organised from Bengaluru to Chennai. She stopped at former Chief Minister MGR's residence and during a halt in between, she told her supporters that she was ready to plunge into serious politics. Following Jayalalithaa's death in December 2016, there was a power vacuum in the AIADMK and Sasikala was chosen by the General Council to be the General Secretary of the party. Soon after O Panneerselvam, who was sworn in as Chief Minister, was forced to step down to pave way for Sasikala to be made CM. He, however, rebelled against her, splitting the AIADMK.  When Sasikala was convicted in the DA case, she in turn told the AIADMK that Edappadi Palaniswami will be the Chief Minister. However, EPS later patched up with OPS, merging the two factions. Amongst the conditions OPS laid down to merge the two factions was that both Sasikala and her nephew Dhinakaran had to be kept away from the party. Keeping this in mind, the AIADMK had in September 2017 removed Sasikala as party General Secretary and TTV Dhinakaran as Deputy General Secretary. Both Sasikala and TTV Dhinakaran, however, have challenged the removal pointing out that only the party General Secretary can convene the General Council.

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