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Tamil Nadu: Advantage AIADMK after Sasikala steps aside from politics, asks followers to unite against DMK

"I will stay away from politics and keep praying my sister Puratchi Thalaivi (Jayalalithaa), whom I consider as God, and the Lord Almighty for the establishment of the golden rule of Amma," Sasikala said in a statement.

In a sensational twist, J Jayalalithaa’s close aide and former interim general secretary of the All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (AIADMK) – VK Sasikala on Wednesday announced that she has decided to “step aside” from politics.

Just a month before the much anticipated Tamil Nadu elections, VK Sasikala, who was released from a Bengaluru prison on January 27, announced a surprising decision to step aside from politics and support the AIADMK to retain power in the April 6 election.

In a two-page statement, Sasikala did not state any reason for her decision. However, she urged all the “true followers” of Jayalalithaa to “remain united, act wisely and work hard” during the upcoming Assembly election so that the ‘common opponent and evil force, as identified by Amma [Jayalalithaa] – the Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (DMK) did not return to power and the golden rule of Amma (Jayalalithaa) is established in Tamil Nadu’.

“I will stay away from politics and keep praying my sister Puratchi Thalaivi (Jayalalithaa), whom I consider as God, and the Lord Almighty for the establishment of the golden rule of Amma,” Sasikala said in a statement.

Big boost for BJP-AIADMK alliance

The decision comes as a surprise as Sasikala had earlier wrestled with the AIADMK leadership and aggressively took up the legal battle to regain her control over the party. She had termed the move to expel her from AIADMK as illegal. However, in a u-turn, Sasikala has now extended the support to the ruling AIADMK in their fight against the DMK in the upcoming state elections.

Reportedly, the decision to step aside comes even as the BJP, which is allied with the AIADMK in Tamil Nadu, has been mounting pressure on the AIADMK to work with Sasikala and the AMMK. Amma Makkal Munnetra Kazagam (AMMK) is a political party founded by former AIADMK leader TTV Dhinakaran. AMMK is considered to be a breakaway faction of the AIADMK after Jayalalithaa’s demise.

Sasikala’s call for party members to unite against the DMK may act as a catalyst in the upcoming elections in Tamil Nadu. The ruling EPS-OPS led AIADMK has now got a big boost ahead of the elections, as it is now regaining some momentum in the state and may also end up victorious in the elections.

The 234-seat Tamil Nadu Assembly will go to polls on April 6, with results to be declared on May 2.

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