AIADMK chief V K Sasikala on Monday asked her party men to ensure "enemies" did not exploit the "crisis" created by the "sudden" demise of her predecessor, the late Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa, and said she had taken over the party's reins on their "affectionate order".
In a message to party men on the eve of the birth centenary of AIADMK founder M G Rmachandran, Sasikala said none can fill the void left behind by Jayalalitha.
"Although none can fill the void left behind by Purathchi Thalaivi Amma (revolutionary leader mother), there is a big responsibility before crores of party workers who are its roots. That is to ensure that they don't allow enemies to exploit the crisis created by the sudden demise of Amma by any means," she said without referring to anyone.
Jayalalithaa had often rewarded hard work and loyalty and that alone mattered in the party and other factors like caste or creed never were of any significance for the grassroots workers to scale new peaks in AIADMK, she said.
Recalling her 33-year-old friendship with Jayalalithaa, Sasikala said her sole aim was the welfare of the former Chief Minister.
"Although I could have spent the rest of my life reminiscing these 33 years, I decided to dedicate myself to public life due to the concern that the third largest movement in India should not suffer a setback and also due to the affectionate order by you," she said in an apparent reference to being appointed as the party's General Secretary last month after Jayalalithaa's death.
The party men can continue to feel the same "warmth and protection" offered by Jayalalithaa as its head, she said and exhorted the AIADMK workers to continue their victory march in the path laid out by Amma. The "defeated enemies" are looking for a "fissure in the strong castle" and see if they can make some redemption, Sasikala said and asked the party workers to work harder and with more determination to thwart any such designs.