Anticipations are rife with the fact that Deepa Jayakumar, niece of the former chief minister of Tamil Nadu J Jayalalithaa, might announce her own political plans today. This news comes 40 days after the passing of Jayalalithaa and only two weeks earlier Jayakumar had requested the AIDMK cadre to not use her photos in their banners. She had urged the followers of the late MG Ramachandran and Jayalalithaa from starting any controversies and promised to announce her decision when she was ready with it.
Maybe part of the insistence on the followers part also hinges on how Jayakumar, an MBA graduate from London, looks strikingly similar to her aunt. The 42-year-old even drapes her saree like Jayalalithaa and she came to the news last year when she alleged that she wasn’t allowed in the hospital to visit her ailing aunt, neither was she permitted to attend her funeral in December.
As today is also the birth centenary of MGR, Jayakumar is to first pay tribute to his and Jayalalithaa’s memorial at Marina Beach and then reveal her plans at a press conference. Even if the party considers Jayakumar to be an opportunist as she has largely been absent from the state’s political scene, the AIDMK workers are seemingly thronging outside her house in large numbers and claiming that they see their Amma in Jayakumar.
On Monday night, she had given a brief speech to her followers from the balcony of her T Nagar house in Chennai stating that she would do her best to carry forward the legacy of the former chief ministers MGR and Jayalalithaa. As Jayakumar is the daughter of Jayalalithaa’s deceased brother, the followers have come to want her to continue Jayalalithaa’s work whilst AIDMK chiefs continue to suspect that somebody else is responsible for her sudden rise to fame.
For Jayakumar who has always maintained that “my entry to politics cannot be stopped”, all eyes will be on her as she announces her decisions to her followers and naysayers alike.