AIADMK cadres on Wednesday attacked and injured the husband of expelled MP 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.
Pushpa has filed a complaint with the Chennai in this matter, according to ANI.
Chennai: Expelled AIADMK MP Sasikala Pushpa files complaint with police against AIADMK cadres for assaulting her husband at the party HQ
— ANI (@ANI_news) December 28, 2016
Sasikala Pushpa's husband Lingeswara Thilagan got hurt in the scuffle and the clashes were contained only after the Chennai police intervened and escorted Thilagan, also an AIADMK member for treatment at a nearby hospital, according to NDTV. Thilagan, along with a team of four lawyers had went to the AIADMK office to file her candidature for the post of party 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, who has been detained for interrogation. Police said no other person was injured.
— ANI (@ANI_news) December 28, 2016
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 the General Council, possibly to seek an invitation to attend it.
A good number of policemen were deployed already outside the AIADMK office in the morning, anticipating her arrival. However, her supporters and lawyers turned up at the party office shouting slogans and angering the party cadres which in turn resulted in a clash.
The party meeting scheduled for Thursday is likely to see the formal election of Jayalaithaa's close confidante Sasikala Natarajan as the next general secretary of the party. However, chaos brewed outside the office as reportedly, a team of lawyers representing Pushpa reached the office and demanded that Pushpa be allowed to attend the Thursday's meet.
Party spokesperson C R Saraswathy charged Pushpa with trying to create a law-and-order problem ahead of the General Council. 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".
There is huge animosity against Pushpa in the ranks of the AIADMK after she made several comments against the late party chief Jayalalithaa and later also against her namesake and Jayalalithaa's likely successor Sasikala Natarajan.
Pushpa was nominated a Rajya Sabha MP on an AIADMK ticket by Jayalalithaa. However, later Pushpa made statements against the late leader alleging that Jayalalithaa had hit her and her life was at threat. Following these statements, Pushpa was immediately expelled from the party, however, she continued as an MP.
Later, Pushpa also challenged the elevation of Natarajan as her successor, questioning her role in the party and alleging that Natarajan had a hand in Jayalalithaa's death. She has also demanded a judicial inquiry into death of Jayalalithaa.
Pushpa had announced that she would contest for the party's top post of general secretary which fell vacant following the death of the former chief minister.
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.
The AIADMK spokesperson, speaking to Times Now, even questioned her right to request entry into the party meeting, stating that she was no longer a party member. Pointing out that her status of an MP was given to her by the late Jayalalithaa, Saraswathi dared Pushpa to fight elections and prove her support base before interfering in the party's "internal matter."
"It is none of her business. It is our party, and our cadres who will decide who leads our party, who is she. She is just an MP and that post was also given by our Hon'bl Amma," Saraswathi 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."
"However, we do not justify the violence as this movement, launched by MGR (MG Ramachandran) and taken forward by Amma (Jayalalithaa), does not condone violence," Ponnaiyan added.
Meanwhile, Pushpa, reacting on the incident, told India Today that the attack on her lawyer was "condemnable" and that she was being denied an opportunity. Claiming that she is still a member of the AIADMK, she said that she also wants to contest for the post of party general secretary against Natarajan.
Citing the laws in party constitution, Pushpa said that anybody who holds the party's primary membership for more than five years can contest the elections. Reiterating that she is still a party member, she also said that no formal notice or written communication was conveyed to her with respect to her expulsion from the party. She also pointed out that by the same law, Natarajan was not eligible to contest the elections.
"There is a rule in Class-30 sub clause-5 that a person being a primary member for five consecutive years can contest the elections. However, if this is implied, then, Sasikala is not fit to be the general secretary."
The AIADMK has however blamed her of creating a ruckus ahead of the party meeting alleging that she has been giving unwarranted interviews and making false allegations in an attempt to malign the party leaders. The AIADMK has also said that Natarajan will succeed Jayalalithaa as next party chief and the relevant laws will be amended to accommodate her appointment.
Meanwhile, actor Anandraj quit the party, in an apparent fallout with Sasikala. He said he has sent his resignation letter to the party. "I do not 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.
Anandraj had also been making some comments of late on the issue of Jayalalithaa's successor to the top post. Without naming anyone, he 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 the Income Tax scanner, and had repeatedly invoked her name on Wednesday while defending himself during a press meet.
"Do not demean the soul of Amma by invoking her name. Do not misuse her name. Anybody is able to use her name. Please respect her," he said.
With inputs from agencies
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Updated Date: Dec 28, 2016 21:22:36 IST