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Cornered, Sasikala Family Divided Over its Future in Tamil Nadu Politics

Updated: April 18, 2017, 4:50 PM IST
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Cornered, Sasikala Family Divided Over its Future in Tamil Nadu Politics
File photo of VK Sasikala (PTI Photo)

Chennai: The political drama unfolding in Tamil Nadu suggests a rift in the Sasikala family over the control of the party as her husband and brother have shown signs of withdrawal from active politics, while her nephews are willing to fight it out.

According to sources, Sasikala’s husband Nitarajan and brother Diwakaran are open to seek a safe exit from the active politics, particularly after the family has been struck by a series of personal tragedies over the last two months. Last Saturday, Sasikala’s nephew TV Mahadevan died from a cardiac arrest.

However, Sasikala’s nephews TTV Dinakaran, who was appointed AIADMK’s deputy general secretary by Sasikala just hours before she surrendered before a Bengaluru court, and Dr Venkatesh want to control the power, and are ready to fight it out till the end.

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Even though a final decision will be taken by Sasikala, sources said Dinakaran had gone to Bengaluru on Monday to convince her to continue in active politics.

These developments come in the backdrop of former chief minister O Panneerselvam categorically demanding total ouster of the Sasikala family from the state politics as a condition for any negotiation with the sitting Chief Minister Edapadi Palaniswami.

With signs emerging that Sasikala family may be willing to concede space, there are report of backdoor negotiations between the two factions.

ALSO READ | EPS Camp Moves Closer to OPS, Welcomes Offer to Merge

According to sources, the OPS camp has been insisting on taking all the three top posts — chief minister, party general secretary and Presidium chairman. On the other hand, EPS was hoping to stay the chief minister while allowing OPS to become party chief. Offering the post of deputy chief minister to EPS was being considered as a possible middle ground of sorts.

While EPS is from the backward Gondar community and is being supported by Thambi Dorai, OPS is from the other dominant Thevar community.

First Published: April 18, 2017, 3:40 PM IST
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