'Sasikala will not join AIADMK after her release': TN CM Palaniswami

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Tamil Nadu Chief Minister Edappadi K Palaniswami on Tuesday said that there was no chance of VK Sasikala, an aide of former CM Jayalalithaa, joining the AIADMK, after her release from a Bengaluru prison later this month. "There is no chance of Sasikala joining AIADMK after her release. Sasikala is not in the party...Her release will not change anything. Most of the people with TTV Dinakaran's AMMK have already come back to the AIADMK."

The Chief Minister who was in New Delhi to officially invite Prime Minister Narendra Modi for the inauguration of the Jayalalithaa Memorial in Chennai, was expected to also discuss details of the NDA alliance in Tamil Nadu. There were speculations that EPS will particularly speak to PM Modi about Sasikala’s possible role after her release. But speaking to reporters in New Delhi, EPS said that he did not discuss any politics in the meeting or anything regarding Sasikala's release, and only raised issues related to the state of Tamil Nadu with the Union government.

Sasikala is presently at Bengaluru’s Parappana Agrahara jail, serving a five-year sentence in a disproportionate assets case, where Jayalalithaa was also one of the accused.  With Sasikala's release date nearing, speculation has been rife about the role she will play in the upcoming Tamil Nadu Assembly elections.

On Monday evening, speaking at an event in Salem district, DMK president Stalin said that it was Sasikala who had made EPS the Chief Minister, and had been betrayed by the latter. He also claimed that the AIADMK would face trouble after Sasikala's release.

Earlier this week, Thuglak editor and RSS ideologue S Gurumurthy had suggested that the AIADMK should align with Sasikala, to defeat the DMK. Using an analogy about firefighting, Gurumurthy said, “If your house is on fire...whether it is Sasikala or anyone else, when you gather as a party, you can't just wait for Ganga water, you have to accept all kinds of water."

Hitting back, AMMK founder and RK Nagar MLA TTV Dhinakaran said, "It is the people of Tamil Nadu who have to decide which is Ganga water, sewer water and mafia, not Gurumurthy who thinks he is Bheeshman, the son of Ganga. It is regrettable that Gurumurthy's standards have slipped so low."