Jayalalithaa's niece Deepa alleges harassment, says being prevented from contesting RK Nagar bypoll
Late Tamil Nadu Chief Minister J Jayalalitha's niece Deepa Jayakumar on Sunday alleged that she was being harassed to prevent her from contesting bypoll in R K Nagar Assembly seat to be held on April 12.
Chennai's RK Nagar Assembly constituency fell vacant following the death of Jayalalithaa on December 5 last year.
Apparently referring to AIADMK chief VK Sasikala's camp, Jayakumar said, "Right from the day I announced that I will be contesting in R K Nagar Assembly constituency, I am being harassed in several ways indirectly."
"I could not even stay at my house and goons are being sent against me. I do not know who (goons) they are...," Jayakumar told reporters.
"Several conspiracies are being hatched to prevent me from contesting in the bypoll," she alleged.
Jayakumar supported dissident AIADMK leader O Panneerselvam who was allegedly forced to resign as Tamil Nadu Chief Minister by Jayalalithaa's long-time aide Sasikala, who is currently in jail after being convicted in a corruption case.
She alleged that she was prevented from visiting the hospital where Jayalalithaa was admitted last year and was also kept away from taking part in the last rites of the leader.
In an unexpected move, she paid homage at Jayalalithaa's memorial at the Marina Beach here at around 10 PM yesterday and sat there in meditation for sometime.
Former Chief Minister O Panneerselvam had also sat in meditation on February 7 at the memorial before revolting against Sasikala.
Announcing the founding of MGR Amma Deepa Peravai on February 24, Jayakumar had said she will contest from R K Nagar Assembly constituency that fell vacant following the death of her aunt Jayalalithaa .
AIADMK MLA Arunkumar joins Panneerselvam camp
Meanwhile, an AIADMK MLA today called on Panneerselvam here and joined hands with the rebel camp, taking the number of legislators supporting it to 12.
AIADMK Coimbatore North MLA PRG Arunkumar had quietly moved out of Koovathur resort last month, where those supporting party general secretary V K Sasikala were lodged, to his home town, Coimbatore, and did not participate in the February 18 trust vote.
Against this background, he called on the former Chief Minister at his residence here today and extended his support.
He had said AIADMK going the way of a 'single family' (apparently in a reference to V K Sasikala) was not agreeable to him.
AIADMK deputy general secretary TTV Dinakaran expressed hope that Arunkumar will return to the parent party.