December 12, 2016
Though side-lined by vested interests within the ruling AIADMK, 42-year old Deepa Jayakumar, niece of former Chief Minister Jayalalithaa, is in no mood to concede her rightful legacy. She wants to be the torch-bearer of her departed aunt’s legacy.
Not a woman to be easily cowed down, Deepa, a well-educated woman, also bears a striking resemblance to her aunt. She has expressed her wish for an imminent political entry if the AIADMK cadres wanted it.
As the saying goes, blood is thicker than water, so niece Deepa is being tipped as the most qualified person to carry forward Jayalalithaa’s legacy. With a Master’s Degree in International Journalism from Cardiff University, she had lived with her aunt when her father Jayakumar was alive. She was the one who tried to meet Jayalalithaa when she was incarcerated in Parappana Agrahara prison in Bangalore.
Understandably unhappy with the sudden projection of Sasikala Natarajan as a rallying point and as general secretary of the party, Deepa said in recent interview to a magazine, “AIADMK is a democratic party; anyone aspiring for any party post should be duly elected not nominated.”
“The time is ripe for her political debut and she is capable of handling the rough and tumble of politics, if the cadres wished so. AIADMK would be saved from ruin if she heads the party,” said AIADMK cadres.
Deepa made it clear that she would seize the opportunity and enter politics to save her aunt’s legacy. “If cadres so wished it, I am not averse to it,” she told a TV channel recently.
Deepa was insulted twice in the past when she tried to visit her ailing aunt, and again when she visited Jaya’s Poes Garden home to pay her last respects to Amma’s mortal remains. Where Deepak, her brother who was seen performing the last rites along with Sasikala, is being used to gain legitimacy by the Sasikala camp, it would not be a surprise if Deepa chooses to throw her hat in the ring.
But as Deepa herself has said, her future course of action solely depended on the will of the AIADMK party cadres and their readiness to accept her as a champion of Jayalalithaa’s legacy.