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AIADMK succession war turns ugly

All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam cadres on Wednesday attacked and injured the husband of expelled Member of Parliament Sasikala Pushpa, who was accused of trying to create a law-and-order problem ahead of Thursday’s General Council meeting to elect a new general secretary.

While initial reports suggested that the attacked man, who was seen bleeding profusely, was Pushpa’s lawyer, police later clarified he was her husband Lingeswara Thilagan, who has been detained for interrogation.

Police said no other person was injured.

AIADMK supporters rained blows on Thilagan, who had stayed put there despite being asked to leave, resulting in bleeding injuries on his nose.

He was rescued by police who removed him from the vicinity for first aid, even as angry men and women were seen swearing at him.

AIADMK workers started gathering at the party headquarters following information that Pushpa, earlier expelled by Jayalalithaa for anti-party activities, could come there ahead of Thursday’s General Council, possibly to seek an invitation to attend it.

It was felt that she could even try to contest for the top post.

Pushpa had been reportedly questioning Sasikala’s eligibility for appointment as the new general secretary, a demand being made by a section of party workers.

Party spokesperson C R Saraswathy charged Pushpa with trying to create a law-and-order problem ahead of the General Council.

“Sasikala Pushpa wants to create a law-and-order problem ahead of the General Council tomorrow. Let her resign first as MP as it was Amma who made her a Rajya Sabha Member,” she said.

She alleged that Pushpa’s injured husband had deliberately stayed put at the party headquarters despite being asked to leave and it had been done to “create a problem”.

“She (Pushpa) is no more in the AIADMK. In the General Council, only members are allowed and not even special guests are invited,” she said.

On the violence, another Spokesperson C Ponnayan said “If someone enters your house and creates problems, there is a consequence– an action has got a reaction.”

Meanwhile, senior party leader and filmstar Anandraj quit the party in an apparent fallout with Sasikala, the close aide of late Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa.

Anandaraj said he had no personal enmity with anyone in AIADMK but regretted the ‘misuse’ of Jayalalithaa’s name by some in the party and the government.

“I don’t have any personal enmity with anyone. I was not invited for tomorrow’s General Council. Let anybody be elected as general secretary. I have sent my resignation letter, hope they accept it,” he told reporters.

He had also been making some comments of late on the issue of Jayalalithaa’s successor to the top post.

Without naming anyone, Anandraj said nobody should be compared with Jayalalithaa.

“In the present situation, even a government officer is using Amma’s name,” he said, in an apparent reference to former Chief Secretary P Rama Mohana Rao, who is under Income Tax scanner, and had frequently invoked her name on Tuesday while defending himself during a press meet.

“Don’t demean the soul of Amma by invoking her name. Don’t misuse her name. Anybody is able to use her name. Please respect her,” he said.

Image: Police take away Lingeshwara Thilagan, husband of expelled AIADMK MP Sasikala Pushpa, after he was attacked by some unidentified men at party headquarters ahead of General Council meet, in Chennai on Wednesday. Photograph: PTI Photo

Source: Rediff