AIADMK chief and Tamil Nadu Chief Minister J. Jayalalithaa on Monday sacked her close aide and Rajya Sabha MP Sasikala Pushpa from the party for slapping DMK MP Tiruchi Siva.
“Sasikala Pushpa sacked from the party for bringing ill fame to the party - Puratchi Thalaivi Amma,” said a tweet from the official Twitter handle of the AIADMK party.
Reacting to the latest development, Sasikala on Monday in Rajya Sabha said that she was under pressure from the party leadership to resign from her MP post. However, she said that she won't quit as she feared for her safety.
“There is a threat to my life. I am under pressure to resign. I will not quit. Because if I do, I will be attacked,” she said.
The development comes a day after DMK chief M. Karunanidhi and Jayalalithaa summoned the MPs in question to hear their side of the story.
Sasikala claimed that on Saturday she slapped her counterpart Siva at the Indira Gandhi International airport in New Delhi for allegedly making offensive comments against Jayalalithaa.
Sasikala, who seemed to be forthcoming to take questions from the media on the controversy, fell quiet after her meeting with the AIADMK chief.
Sasikala, accompanied by Lok Sabha Deputy Speaker M. Thambidurai, met Jayalalithaa at the chief minister's Poes garden residence in Chennai and refused to speak to the media on the controversy, said reports.
Siva, meanwhile, rubbished the reports from a section of media that he was involved in a fist fight with Sasikala. He claimed that there were no exchanges, as only she slapped him but he didn't hit her back.
Meanwhile, he also slammed the Jayalalithaa government, saying “AIADMK has set a new example. It will hit the person who criticises its leader.”
The slapping incident was also seen as Sasikala's way of settling scores with Siva. Some leaders said that she had some personal issue with him. Some of the news reports quoting sources also speculated that it may have been Sasikala's attempt to impress Jayalalithaa, who had reprimanded her few months ago by removing her from a powerful party post after receiving unfavourable reports about her.