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Women leaders of AIADMK groups unusually quiet

Even as the ongoing faction feud in the AIADMK is gathering momentum with every passing day, it has become an all-male show with none of the women in the cabinet as well as the legislature, coming out in support of either faction, that too from a party which had a woman – J Jayalalithaa – as its numero uno until her death.

Women leaders of AIADMK groups unusually quiet
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S Gokula Indira, former minister

Chennai

Despite the presence of five women in the cabinet, there has been no visible action from the active ministers like S Valarmathi (BC welfare), VM Rajalakshmi (AD welfare) and V Saroja (social welfare). TN Textbook chairperson P Valarmathi, a former minister and a vociferous speaker, obviously prefers to hold her own now, waiting for better times to emerge. 

Only Labour Minister Nilofer Kafeel showed up at AIADMK (Amma) group meetings. Even the party spokesperson and MLA CR Saraswathi, who was very vocal, all along the late CM Jayalalithaa’s ailment and during the faction war that broke out early this year, has become unusually quiet in the current feud.  

Sources in the party said that most of the women leaders have been reticent since the death of Jayalalithaa as they are unsure of which faction to support. When asked about this, Saraswathi refused to be drawn out adding that she did not want to talk about the issue.  Former minister Valarmathi, said, “We follow party discipline.” 

When asked whether they are barred from issuing statements, she added, “We are advised that unnecessary statements would only cloud the real issue and lead to confusion.” However, former minister Gokula Indira differed and said, “It is not as if we are silent. I am present in the press meets at the party headquarters and participate in TV debates. It is just that we have not been asked questions directly.” Commenting on the absence of flower power in the faction war, Professor Ramu Manivannan of Madras university observed, “They may want to save their posts and power and prefer to keep a low profile without expressing any opinion.”

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