On Wednesday, AIADMK chief VK Sasikala returned to Bengaluru central jail after she surrendered before a court, a day after the Supreme Court restored her conviction in the Disproportionate Assets case and ordered she serve the remainder of her four-year prison term immediately.
Sasikala, 60, turned up before Special Court Judge Ashwathnarayana after the apex court earlier in the day refused to entertain her plea in the DA case seeking more time to surrender for undergoing the jail term.
She left Chennai for Bengaluru in the neighbouring state of Karnataka by road shortly and went straight to the court housed in the central jail at Parappana Agrahara, 28 km from Hosur on Karnataka-Tamil Nadu border.
The court hall in Bengaluru where Sasikala, a long-time aide of late Tamil Nadu chief minister J Jayalalithaa, surrendered was shifted from the heart of the city to the central jail owing to security reasons.
Sasikala was imprisoned after completion of court formalities and medical check up, officials said.
The judge also turned down her plea for two weeks more time to surrender and for home food.
Four cars in the cavalcade of Sasikala were damaged soon after it arrived near the court premises, police said, adding, it was not immediately known who did it.
Before she left for Bengaluru, an emotional Sasikala appeared to take a vow at the memorial of Jayalalithaa in Chennai, thumping her hand twice at the petals strewn concrete structure.
— ANI (@ANI_news) February 15, 2017
Sasikala was seen muttering something which was not audible amidst the huge noisy crowd that had converged there.
"Only I can be jailed, not the care or concern I have for this party. Wherever I will be, my thoughts will be here," Sasikala had told both her MLAs at Koovathur resort as well as to her supporters later at Poes Garden late on Tuesday night.
She said she would be thinking about the party round the clock and that "no force can wean away" the party from her.
The apex court had earlier in the day refused to entertain her plea, seeking more time to surrender to undergo jail term in the DA case.
"We do not intend to pass any order on this. We are not going to change anything in the judgment," a bench headed by Justice PC Ghose said. The bench had yesterday convicted her and two others in the DA case.
Sasikala supporters claim the support of a majority of AIADMK legislators
Before leaving the Poes Garden residence of Jayalalithaa, where Sasikala continued to stay after the former's demise last December, she was greeted by slogan-shouting supporters who hailed their 'Chinnamma' (next after Jayalalithaa who was addressed as Amma, meaning mother).
At the Jayalalithaa memorial, Sasikala made her way through the crowd of supporters that included a sobbing former minister Gokula Indira and deputy general secretary and her nephew TTV Dinakaran, and put up a brave face.
— ANI (@ANI_news) February 15, 2017
She was seen with folded hands before making an emphatic vow. She also paid floral tributes at the memorial before going around it ahead of her onward journey. Sasikala also visited the Ramapuram residence of AIADMK founder M G Ramachandran and briefly meditated before his portrait inside the house. She also paid homage to a life size statue of the former matinee idol at the residence, which she had unveiled recently. Some women there also peformed 'aarti' for Sasikala.
Sasikala's nephew TTV Dinakaran appointed as AIADMK deputy general secretary
On Wednesday Sasikala appointed nephew TTV Dinakaran as party deputy general secretary, ahead of preparing to surrender before the court. The appointment of her nephew in the newly-created post was announced in a statement prior to Sasikala leaving for Bengaluru to surrender before the court there.
In a statement issued in Chennai, Sasikala said former Member of Parliament (MP) Dinakaran is appointed as deputy general secretary of the party and party men are requested to extend their cooperation to him.
Prior to Dinakaran's appointment as deputy general secretary, Sasikala had re-admitted him and another nephew S Venkatesh as members of the party.
In a statement, she said the two had expressed apology for their past acts in person and in writing and requested for re-admission into the party. Dinakaran was part of the 12-member AIADMK team led by its newly-elected Legislature party leader Edappadi K Palaniswami which met Governor Ch Vidyasagar Rao and staked claim to form the government in Tamil Nadu.
Incidentally, Dinakaran and Venkatesh were dismissed from the party's primary membership by former general secretary and chief minister the late J Jayalalithaa.
Senior AIADMK leader V Karuppasamy Pandian quits from party post to protest against Dinakaran's appointment
On Wednesday, senior AIADMK leader V Karuppasamy Pandian quit from a party post, protesting the appointment of TTV Dinakaran as deputy general secretary by party chief VK Sasikala.
Pandian, the party's southern region strongman who had returned to AIADMK last year after a stint in DMK, announced his resignation as the party's organisation secretary, questioning if AIADMK was Sasikala's "family property".
Speaking to reporters, he asked who gave Sasikala the authority to reinduct people expelled by the late Jayalalithaa and whether the party General Council or the Executive had authorised her in this regard. "Who gave her the authority to reinduct people expelled by Amma. AIADMK was founded by MGR (M G Ramachandran) for the welfare of the poor. Is it her (Sasikala) family property," he said.
SS Saravanan, an MLA from Madurai South, files a complaint against Sasikala and E Palanisamy
On Wednesday, Panneerselvam aides claimed he had the support of some 40 of the 135 AIADMK legislators but Palanisamy said he had adequate legislative backing to form a government. Earlier, police registered a FIR against Sasikala and Palanisamy after AIADMK MLA SS Saravanan accused them of abducting him. The party denied the charge. Saravanan, a legislator from Madurai South constituency, filed the abduction complaint against Sasikala and Public Works Minister Palanisamy.
Saravanan told the media on Monday that he scaled a wall at the resort in Koovathur and jumped down to escape.
After his complaint, hundreds of police personnel in riot gear reached the resort on Wednesday.
"Saravanan's complaint is totally false. He himself had told police a couple of days back that he is staying at the resort on his own will," an AIADMK MLA, Inbadurai, told reporters.
The legislators at the resort have switched off their phone lines and some do not answer the calls or cut the call if it is from the media.
They said they could vacate the resort if Palanisamy told them to do so or if he was called to form a government.
Updated Date: Feb 15, 2017 22:10 PM