Chennai: With MPs from her camp crossing over to O Panneerselvam and a suicide note in her name circulating on the world wide web, the AIADMK interim general secretary Sasikala on Sunday said it was "very difficult" for a woman to be in politics.
Speaking to reporters outside Poes Garden residence where she continues to live after the demise of her predecessor J Jayalalithaa, Sasikala, who was elected the legislature party leader a week ago, termed as "fake" a letter in her name and purportedly addressed to Governor Ch Vidyasagar Rao.
She said she had seen such "flutter" happen in AIADMK following the death of its founder the late M G Ramachandran, but Jayalalithaa had steered it tactfully and even ensured it won a successive term in last year's polls.
"Since then, there have been efforts to split the party. Those who made such efforts then are doing it today also," she said, in an apparent reference to Chief Minister O Panneerselvam, who has revolted against her, being a member of the faction led by Janaki, the widow of Ramachandran, then.
AIADMK was then divided as Janaki and Jayalalithaa factions.
Sasikala asserted, "We are used to these challenges."
Sasikala went again on Sunday to meet her MLAs housed at a luxury resort in Mahabalipuram.
She had yesterday held discussions with the MLAs staying at the resort at nearby Koovathur.
On various charges made against her by Panneerselvam, she said they will be responded to at the "appropriate time."
Asked about BJP leader Subramanian Swamy's contention that the Governor has to decide on the issue of government formation by tomorrow, else a court case can be filed charging abetment of horse trading, she said, "We will discuss it."
Meanwhile, addressing her party's star campaigners who include actors and singers, Sasikala assured them that AIADMK would come out of this crisis with the help of grassroots workers.
"Our party and grassroots level workers are with us. They are the true strength of this movement. Be bold, I am with you," she told them.