Jayalalithaa's niece Deepa Jayakumar announces entry into politics on MGR's birth anniversary

Announcing her entry into active politics, Deepa Jayakumar, late chief minister J Jayalalithaa's niece, took a plunge into Tamil Nadu politics on Tuesday, News18 reported.

However, she did not make it clear whether she will be joining the AIADMK or form her own party. Deepa's decision to enter politics coincides with the 100th birth anniversary of AIADMK founder MG Ramachandran.

"To end such things, I make it clear on this day (MGR's birth centenary) that I will enter politics, do people's work and I desire that," she told reporters at a crowded press conference, adding, she was interested in politics and waiting to work for the people.

Deepa asserted that she does not accept anyone other than her late aunt as the AIADMK chief, adding that she is unhappy at the elevation of VK Sasikala, a long time aide of Jayalalithaa. The 40-year-old claimed that the opinion of many party members was ignored while pointing out the apparent urgency in making Sasikala the new general secretary.

Deepa, who is the daughter of Jayalalithaa's only brother Jayakumar, also hit back at Sasikala and her family, refuting the charges that the late chief minister had been working based on the ideas given by the family.

Dismissing the alleged rumours being circulated about her, Deepa indirectly slammed Sasikala and her group for perpetrating the menace.

However, the former media studies researcher at UK, added that she would announce her future course of action on Jayalalithaa birth anniversary - 24 February. Promising to carry on the legacy of her aunt, Deepa added that she Will be travelling across Tamil Nadu to seek people's support.

Asked whether she and AIADMK General Secretary VK Sasikala should join forces and prevent a break-up in the party, Deepa said, "I have no opinion," adding, she was only considering the aspirations of the cadre and taking into account "Makkal Sakthi (people's power)".

She said she was asked by the cadre to take up a role in the AIADMK. Asked if Sasikala invited her to join the AIADMK, she said, "No. I can only give a direct answer and that is a no."

Answering a question if she will have the support of Sasikala if she chose to join the AIADMK, she said, "It is premature to talk about this.. My course of action has to be decided."

On being asked whether she has the support of the BJP, Deepa reiterated that she is not in talks with anyone right now. On Tuesday morning, Deepa visited the MGR memorial and paid tribute to the former chief minister, who had been instrumental in bringing Jayalalithaa into politics, The Newsminute reported. The Tamil Nadu government has declared Tuesday a public holiday to commemorate the birth centenary of the cinema legend and the three-time chief minister.

Thousands of AIADMK supporters gathered near the MGR memorial to pay rich tribute to the late leader. Deepa and her followers were also present at the site.

Maradhur Gopalan Ramachandran was born on 17 January 1917 in Kandy, Sri Lanka. Later in his life, as he gained prominence as a film star, he came to be known by his initials MGR. After his successful film career, he broke away from the DMK to form the AIADMK in 1972 and became the chief minister in 1977. MGR died in office on 24 December 1987.

Updated Date: Jan 17, 2017 15:32:04 IST