Sasikala convicted: What happens to her political career?

The Supreme Court on Tuesday convicted newly-appointed AIADMK general secretary VK Sasikala in the 21-year-old disproportionate assets case.

The much awaited verdict will now practically oust her from her power struggle with interim Tamil Nadu Chief Minister O Panneerselvam, to take over the state after the demise of J Jayalithaa.

Registered in 1997 against Jayalalithaa after her term as chief minister from 1991 to 1996, the charges were regarding a disproportionate jump in her wealth from Rs. 2.01 crore in 1991 to Rs. 66.65 crore in 1996, not comparable to her declared sources of income.

"If OPS was not friendly with the DMK in the Assembly, I would have let him be chief minister".

The Attorney General has advised the Governor to convene a special Assembly session within a week and put two resolutions before the MLAs to decide who holds the majority support.

M. Thambidurai, a senior AIADMK leader, has also reached the resort to meet the party general secretary. When Sasikala subsequently wrote a letter to Jaya pleading that she had no knowledge of the activities of her husband and her kith and kin and would have nothing to do with them in future, she was readmitted into Jaya's Poes Garden residence. It was her third meeting with her MLAs in three days. "We will unveil "Amma's" photograph in the Assembly". The Karnataka government, which was the prosecuting agency, made a decision to appeal against the High Court order in the Supreme Court. The other PIL, against Sasikala, has been listed for hearing on 17 February.

After today's development, Sasikala stands disqualified to take over as Tamil Nadu chief minister. Jayalalithaa had to step down as chief minister and Panneerselvam assumed the reins of the state.

Dabbing her eye with a handkerchief, Ms Sasikala, who has been catapulted to the top of AIADMK because of her close friendship with Ms Jayalalithaa, told legislators she would not be cowed.

■ On Saturday, police and revenue officers held an inquiry at the resort after Panneerselvam complained to governor Vidyasagar Rao that the MLAs had been "abducted" by the Sasikala camp on Wednesday after a party meeting.

The properties bought by companies owned by her from Tamil Nadu Small Industries Corporation (TANSI) were said to have cost Rs 1 crore. Vaikundarajan is the owner of V V Minerals, one of Tamil Nadu's biggest minerals and beach-sand-mining companies.

  • Leroy Wright