More than a month after the death of former Tamil Nadu chief minister J Jayalalithaa, her niece Deepa Jayakumar on Tuesday confirmed that she would make her foray into Tamil Nadu politics.
Confirming her political ambitions, Jayakumar announced that “a landmark announcement” would be made on February 24, which happens to be Jayalalithaa’s birthday.
Not denying the speculations surrounding her forming a new party, Jayakumar said, “I have two options (before me)–one is to join AIADMK or to float a new party. I will discuss with my supporters before making a decision”.
“I have decided to listen to the requests made by the people,” she said. “Let us work to make Tamil Nadu the best State in Asia.”
Ms. Jayakumar paid homage to M G Ramachandran (MGR) on his 100th birth anniversary. “I cannot accept anyone except MGR and Jayalalithaa,” she said.
Asked whether she was scared of AIADMK general secretary V K sasikala, Deepa said, “I’m not scared of anybody, it is not my nature.”
She avoided questions in connection with Sasikala. “I don’t want to make any personal comment now. Cadre’s and people’s decision is final,” she said.
Jayakumar’s announcement also came a day after a senior party leader criticised Sasiklala Natarajan’s family of “insulting” MGR by claiming credit for “reuniting the party” after his death.
Over the past few days, posters have sprung up across Tamil Nadu announcing Jayalalithaa’s niece as the “true heir”, “Junior Amma”, and “Ilaya Puratchi Thalaivi” (Young revolutionary leader), accompanied by photoshopped pictures of Deepa and her late aunt to highlight the similarities in their looks.
On her part, Jayakumar has also been trying to emphasise her resemblance to Jayalalithaa by dressing in sarees similar to what the late CM would have worn, greeting supporters frequently from the balcony of her house at T Nagar.