Sasikala In Jail: Putting An End To Tamil Political Dramatics

Having been convicted in the disproportionate assets case and amid her ongoing power tussle with O Pannerselvam, VK Sasikala handed over the baton of the leader of AIADMK legislature party to Edappadi K Palaniswami.

The political stalemate in Tamil Nadu which brought the State administration to a standstill since February 5 ended on Thursday with Edappadi Palaniswamy (EPS), a senior AIADMK leader, being sworn in as Chief Minister by Governor Vidyasagar Rao. The Supreme Court bench of Justice Amitava Roy and Justice Pinaki Chandra Ghose, in upholding the lower court's verdict and setting aside the Karnataka High Court judgement sentenced former chief minister J. Jayalalithaa's confidante and closest associate Sasikala to four years imprisonment.

More than 100 MLAs from the Sasikala faction, who have been lodged at Golden Bay resorts at Koovathur on the outskirts of Chennai for over a week, will finally come back to the city, pay their respects at former chief minister J. Jayalalithaa's memorial and head for the swearing-in cermony.

The verdict has put a big question mark over Sasikala's political career as even after serving the four-year-long sentence, she would not be able to contest elections for a period of six years.

As the trial court denied Sasikala's demand for some privileges, including home food, she refused to have supper on Wednesday though she was served two rotis, one ragi ball, 200 gm rice and 150 gm sambar (lentil) like all other inmates.

He could now be invited by the state's Governor to prove he has majority support in the assembly. In early February, she began angling for the chief minister's post, which has been filled since Jayalalithaa's death by O Panneerselvam, a longtime party loyalist.

An angry Pandian went to the extent of questioning Sasikala's authority of reinducting people expelled by Jayalalithaa, and asking if AIADMK was her "family property".

First she fooled the AIADMK cadres, especially Panneerselvam that she is the new avatar of Jayalalithaa to continue the her work, and later she become the interim general secretary with his help and later, she made him resign as CM and later she removed him from the post of Treasurer and basis membership.

Palaniswami, a known Sasikala loyalist and a five-time MLA, is the party's strongman from Salem district and now holds the portfolios of Highways, Public Works and Minor Ports. Panneerselvam, whose attempt to foil Sasikala's bid to be the chief minister led to bitter fighting within the AIADMK.

Within minutes of the verdict coming out, riot police in full gear arrived at the resort.

The AIADMK said on Twitter that the "vote of confidence" would take place on Saturday.

The bench said these companies were "operating" from Poes Garden and "it can not be accepted that she (Jayalalithaa) was unaware of the same even though she feigned ignorance about the activities carried on by Sasikala and two others".

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