AIADMK chief V K Sasikala Wednesday returned to Bengaluru central jail after she surrendered before a court, a day after the Supreme Court restored her conviction in the DA case and ordered that she serve the remainder of her four-year prison term immediately.
Before heading to Bengaluru, she paid a visit to former Chief Minister Jayalalithaa’s memorial near Marina beach in Chennai.
Addressing her party workers late Tuesday night, she said her thoughts will continue to remain with the party even from inside the jail.
“Only I can be jailed, not the care or concern I have for this party. Wherever I will be, my thoughts will be here,” said an emotional Sasikala, adding “no force can wean away AIADMK from her”.
She further asked the party MLAs, owing allegiance to her faction (which is currently in majority) and stressed the need for staying united. The AIADMK chief also exuded confidence that Governor Ch Vidyasagar Rao would invite “her party” to form the government.
Earlier in the evening on Tuesday, newly elected AIADMK legislature party leader Edappadi K Palaniswami had met Rao and staked claim to form government.
“For me, to form government, to set up Amma’s memorial, you should remain united,” she said.
The apex court had on Tuesday morning set aside the Karnataka High Court’s order acquitting her and former Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa, along with two others — VN Sudhakaran and Elavarasi (both Sasikala’s relatives), who were earlier convicted by the trial court.
The court, however, abated the appeal proceedings against J Jayalalithaa owing to her demise.
The verdict has come amid a major power tussle between Sasikala and caretaker Chief Minister O Panneerselvam. With the sentence of four years in jail, Sasikala’s political career, which began soon after Jayalalithaa’s death in December last year, has received a big jolt.
Restoring in toto the judgement and the findings of the trial court in Bengaluru which had held all the four guilty, the two-judge bench comprising Justices PC Ghose and Amitava Roy directed Sasikala and her two relatives to surrender immediately to the trial court in Bengaluru and serve the remaining part of four year jail term.
On 27th September, 2014, a special court in Bengaluru had found the then sitting CM J Jayalalithaa of acquiring disproportionate assets case worth Rs 58 crores during her stint from 1991 to 1996. The court had sentenced her to four years imprisonment alongside imposing a whopping fine of Rs 10 crore.
However, in April 2015, the Karnataka High Court acquitted all the accused. The single-judge bench of Justice Kumaraswamy had said that the prosecution failed to prove the conspiracy on the part of accused.