VK Sasikala, Set To Surrender In Bengaluru, Inducts Nephews Into AIADMK: 10 Updates
Express News Global
Tamil Nadu | Edited by Shuchi Shukla | Updated: February 15, 2017 10:42 IST
CHENNAI: Before she surrenders and heads to jail, AIADMK chief VK Sasikala has this morning inducted her nephews TTV Dhinakaran and S Venkatesh into the party. Mr Dhinakaran, who was expelled from the party by J Jayalalithaa in 2011, was appointed deputy general secretary of the AIADMK ensuring that the control of the party remains in the hands of Ms Sasikala’s family. Ms Sasikala is expected to surrender today in Bengaluru to begin a four-year jail term ordered by the Supreme Court, which has found her guilty of corruption. The court verdict ended her plans to become Tamil Nadu’s next chief minister. Ms Sasikala, who received the news from Delhi at a five-star resort beach resort 80 km away from Chennai, returned to her Poes Garden residence in the state capital late last night after presiding over the election of her loyalist Edappadi K Palanisamy to lead the ruling party in the state assembly, in a bid to ensure that her rival O Panneerselvam does not continue as chief minister. Over 120 party legislators are reportedly still at the resort said one of them, Ilambai Thamilchelvan, stating that they are waiting for the Governor to invite Mr Palanisamy, who staked claim last evening, to form government.
Here are the 10 latest developments of this big story:
- “There are rumours that many MLAs are running away but then those are all lie. All of them are still here… 125 MLAs are here at the resort and we will leave this place only after the governor’s invite,” said Mr Tamilchelvan, accusing interim chief minister O Panneerselvam of “cooking up a lot of stories”.
- Mr Panneerselvam, who had resigned last week and was asked to continue as interim chief minister, too has staked claim to the top post and alleges that the party’s legislators have bene held “captive” at the resort by Ms Sasikala. If allowed to choose freely, many will support him, he has said.
- Only 11 of the AIADMK’s 134 legislators have so far publicly supported Mr Panneerselvam, but his camp alleges that at least 11 more have been in touch from the resort to say they want to join him but are being pressured to stay at the resort.
- If Mr Panneerselvam can get 11 more MLAs to join him, Mr Palanisamy of the Sasikala camp will struggle to reach the 117 needed for a majority in the state assembly. In a letter to the legislators he has urged them to “sink differences, work together and keep the party united to continue Amma’s good rule.” He dispatched a team to the resort to convince the MLAs that the party must not split, but the police stopped them enroute.
- At Jayalalithaa’s memorial at Chennai’s Marina Beach last night, her niece Deepa Jayakumar joined O Panneerselvam and said, “Mr Panneerselvam and I will act as a pair of hands of the AIADMK.”
- Late last night, in her first public appearance since the Supreme Court convicted her, Ms Sasikala broke down and said “no force can separate me from AIADMK, I’ll think of the party wherever I am”. The court’s verdict means that Ms Sasikala cannot hold public office or contest elections for 10 years, the period of her jail term plus six years after that.
- The Supreme Court has upheld a trial court verdict sentencing Ms Sasikala to four years in prison for conspiring with and abetting former Tamil Nadu Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa in her “sinister” plan to “launder ill-gotten wealth” worth about 60 crore.
- Ms Sasikala, the closest companion of Ms Jayalalithaa who died in December last year, was asked by the court to surrender immediately. She and two others convicted, both her relatives, have also been fined 10 crore each.
- Ms Sasikala will be jailed in Karnataka as the disproportionate assets case, which dates back to the 1990s, was shifted out of Tamil Nadu. In 2014, Ms Jayalalithaa and Ms Sasikala had spent 22 days in a Bengaluru jail before they were granted bail.
- The Karnataka High Court had later acquitted both and the Karnataka government appealed against the acquittal in the Supreme Court. The judges made strong comments about the role of Ms Jayalalithaa, who was accused number 1 in the case, as they gave verdict on Tuesday.