- Few people gathered for VK Sasikala's homecoming
- E Palaniswami broke bread with O Panneerselvam, who rebelled against her
- TTV Dhinakaran, her nephew, hasn't been able to keep control of AIADMK
A lot has changed since Sasikala left the Poes Garden residence in February as AIADMK chief for a jail in Bengaluru to serve the four year sentence in the assets case. At that time, large crowds dotted the posh area and at Jayalalithaa's memorial too to bid her goodbye.
Now, E Palaniswami, who she had handpicked to be her proxy chief minister, has broken bread with O Panneerselvam, who had rebelled against her. Sasikala has been sacked and the general secretary post she held in the AIADMK has been scrapped. After the merger with the Palaniswami or EPS camp, O Panneerselvam or OPS has entrenched himself at the helm as chief coordinator of the steering committee of the party.
Sasikala's nephew TTV Dhinakaram, who she had brought in and made her deputy in the party revoking Jayalalithaa's order, hasn't been able to keep the party under his control. Out of the 135 AIADMK legislators, just 18 MLAs stood with her and they too have been disqualified. The EPS government is confident of numbers even without her leadership.
Sasikala's visit to Chennai to visit her husband who had a liver and kidney transplant, was seen by her supporters as a God sent opportunity for her to meet her loyalists and strategise. There was a buzz that many lawmakers and even a few ministers would meet her to prove their loyalty which could have shaken the morale of the EPS government whose majority has come under doubt.
Although there are tough restrictions in place disallowing her from meeting people or addressing the media, political observers say she would still want to exploit this visit to recover some lost political ground.
Sasikala's spokesperson Apsara Reddy said "Chinnamma is coming as a good wife to nurse her husband. There's no political agenda."