Sasikala Pushpa
Jayalalithaa's former aide Sasikala fears someone will forge Amma's signature to grab power. In picture: Sasikala Pushpa.Screenshot

Sasikala Pushpa, a former member of the All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (AIADMK), which is headed by Tamil Nadu Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa, has written to state Governor C Vidyasagar Rao expressing her apprehension that someone might commit fraud in order to seize power — both within the party and Tamil Nadu.

Jayalalithaa has been undergoing treatment for a variety of ailments at the Apollo Hospitals in Chennai for close to three weeks now. In her absence, a cross-section of leaders has been running the affairs of the state. However, Rao had recently met state Finance Minister and former chief minister O Panneerselvam, Public Works Minister Edappadi K Palanisamy, and Chief Secretary Dr P Rama Mohana Rao, inquiring after how the state was being run.

Now, Sasikala has raised suspicion that someone may try to usurp power by committing fraud. In a letter addressed to the governor and dated Saturday, October 8, she has said: "It is feared that some people around TAMIL NADU CHIEF MINISTER, now hospitalized may forge her signature to nominate a deputy general secretary to AIADMK and to run the Government also. [sic]"

She has also requested Rao to "Kindly verify ADMK general secretary signature if any official communication came from her. We request you to verify carefully, if at all any official communication came from them in this or any other regard. [sic]"

Sasikala Pushpa and Jayalalithaa had a falling out, and the former was eventually ousted from the AIADMK earlier this year following controversy that arose when she slapped a DMK MP.

Interestingly, her latest move is being seen by political observers as a bid to regain a foothold in the party, or to at least reassert her political importance in the state.