Deepa Jayakumar defers ‘big announcement’

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Jaya’s niece to disclose about political venture on Feb. 24, aunt’s birth anniversary.

Chennai: In an anti-climax, late chief minister J. Jayalalithaa’s niece Deepa Jayakumar did not shed much light on her taking the political path – launching a party of her own or joining any party – but merely promised a “big announcement” on the first birth anniversary of her late aunt which falls on February 24.

There was intense speculation that Deepa, an MBA graduate who shot into fame after she was stopped at the gates of Apollo Hospitals when she tried to meet Jayalalithaa in October last year, would announce the launch of her political party at Tuesday’s press conference, coinciding with the birth centenary of late M. G Ramachandran.

However, the niece of the late chief minister merely said she has decided to take a plunge in politics and contest elections to carry forward the legacy of her late aunt. Deepa had on January 9 said she would take a political plunge on January 17.

“I can’t see anyone in the place of Jayalalithaa. It was after talking to AIADMK cadre that I decided to enter politics. I will take a call on whether to launch a political party of my own after consulting my supporters,” Mrs Deepa told reporters at her T. Nagar residence here. She also said she will work to ensure that welfare schemes conceived by late Jayalalithaa reaches the right people.

“I will make a big announcement on February 24 – the birth anniversary of Jayalalithaa. In the mean time, I will consult all my supporters and decide (on the future course of action),” Deepa said.

Draped in a saree and sporting a shawl over it, Deepa claimed she has decided to take a plunge in politics only after “requests from many cadres”. However, she evaded direct reply to questions on whether she would challenge V. K. Sasikala’s election as general secretary of the AIADMK or launch her own political outfit.

“I’m not scared of anybody, it is not my nature,” she replied to a question on whether she was scared of Sasikala. Earlier, Deepa visited MGR’s memorial house in T. Nagar and MGR memorial on the Marina beach and paid floral tributes to the late leader. At the MGR memorial house, a verbal duel broke out between police and supporters of Deepa after they restrained entry of people due to lack of space on the premises.

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