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Expelled AIADMK leader V K Sasikala on Wednesday stated that she is quitting public life while asking the AIADMK cadre to stand united and ensure DMK is defeated in forthcoming Assembly elections.

“I will stay away from politics and pray to my sister (Jayalalithaa), a revolutionary leader, whom I have always worshipped as a deity & to the almighty God for Amma's golden rule to continue: VK Sasikala," she said in a statement.

Sasikala's statement comes ahead of Tamil Nadu Assembly polls, which will be held in a single-phase on 6 April, 2021.

fter being released from a Bengaluru prison following completion of a four-year term in an assets case, Sasikala had last month announced her intention to engage in active politics.

Her subsequent political moves, including the stand of the AMMK floated by her nephew TTV Dhinakaran, in the polls was keenly awaited by observers and political parties alike in the state especially in the context of the crucial assembly elections.

Earlier today, the Bhartiya Janata Party (BJP) had said the AIADMK would decide on accommodating VK Sasikala, once a close aide of former chief minister J Jayalalithaa, in the ruling party-led alliance the state assembly polls.

The AIADMK has so far ruled out accommodating her or her nephew TTV Dhinakaran-led Amma Makkal Munnetra Kazhagam in the party or in the alliance led by it.

BJP Tamil Nadu in-charge and national general secretary CT Ravi, when asked if his party wanted Ms Sasikala to be in the AIADMK-led alliance and on Home Minister Amit Shah reportedly speaking to Chief Minister K Palaniswami about the mater, said, "Only you are speculating."

Sasikala had been staying at her niece J Krishnapriya's residence in Chennai's T Nagar area after returning to the city in February following the completion of her four-year prison sentence in a disproportionate assets case.

The former AIADMK leader was discharged on January 31 from Bengaluru's Victoria hospital where she was undergoing COVID-19 treatment. She was officially released from judicial custody on January 27 after completing her four-year prison sentence in a disproportionate assets case.

In 2019, the Income Tax Department had attached properties worth 1,600 crores belonging to her under the provisions of the Benami Transactions (Prohibition) Act.

After the demise of Jayalalithaa in December 2016, Sasikala was elected General Secretary of the AIADMK. She had handed over the control of the party to nephew Dhinkaran after being convicted in the disproportionate assets case in February 2017.

Edappadi Palaniswami was made Chief Minister with her backing but Sasikala was removed after rival faction led by O Panneerselvam, who had rebelled against Sasikala merged with the Palaniswami faction. Both Sasikala and Dhinakaran were removed in September 2017.

With agency inputs

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