The succession war of late All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (AIADMK) supremo J Jayalalithaa has turned nasty when rebel MP Sasikala Pushpa opposed the appointment of the former Tamil Nadu chief minister’s close aide Sasikala Natarajan as the party’s general secretary.
Pushpa alleged that her husband Lingeswara Thilagan and her lawyers were even attacked by party workers outside the AIADMK office in Chennai on Wednesday afternoon as soon as they went there to file nomination papers on her behalf for the post of the party’s general secretary.
She filed a missing complaint with the police claiming her husband was missing since Wednesday morning. The cops on Thursday reportedly arrested Thilagan, hours before the official announcement of Jayalalithaa‘s successor in the AIADMK.
Here are 10 things you should know about Sasikala Pushpa:
1. Sasikala Pushpa is from Mudalur village at Sathankulam Tehsil of Thoothukkudi (Tuticorin) district in Tamil Nadu.
2. She served as the mayor of Tuticorin city of Tamil Nadu from 2011-2014.
3. Pushpa was elected as a Rajya Sabha member on April 3, 2014.
4. She was expelled from the AIADMK on August 1, 2016 by Jayalalithaa for allegedly slapping Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (DMK) MP Tiruchi Siva at Delhi’s Indira Gandhi International Airport.
5. However, days later, Pushpa openly alleged in the Parliament that some forces within the AIADMK were conspiring against her and threatening her to resign.
6. Post Jayalalithaa’s demise on Dec 5, Pushpa moved the Supreme Court seeking a Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) or judicial probe into Amma’s death.
She voiced her suspicion over the “actual” medical condition of the TN chief and the reason why it was not disclosed to anyone.
7. Pushpa earlier this month opposed naming of VK Sasikala as Jayalalithaa’s successor in AIADMK. Explaining her stand, she told TOI: “She can’t be AIADMK general secretary as per the party bylaws because she has not been a primary member for five years continuously. She was expelled in 2011 and reinstated in 2012.”
8. She even alleged VK Sasikala of taking advantage of Jayalalithaa’s hospitalization for usurping Amma’s party as well as her government.
9. Pushpa on Wednesday accused VK Sasikala of masterminding the alleged attack on her husband Lingeswara Thilagan. She was quoted as saying by TOI: “They were bleeding profusely and I have every reason to believe that the goondas of Sasikala Natarajan (V K Sasikala) are behind this.”
10. On Wednesday evening, Thilagan was treated at a government hospital in Royapettah area of Chennai. Pushpa confirmed that the cops filed a case against his alleged attackers.
However, three cases were also filed against Thilagan. He was arrested and later released on bail on Thursday.
(Sources: TOI, NDTV, CNN-IBN)
Sreya is based in Kolkata. She is a Senior Editor of Big Wire.