The Supreme Court on Tuesday sent VK Sasikala to jail for four years for corruption, a verdict that dashed the 61-year-old politician’s hopes of becoming the state chief minister.
The court also barred the former video cassettes saleswoman from holding public office or contesting elections for 10 years after holding her guilty of amassing wealth disproportionate to her known income. She was also fined Rs10 crore.
The verdict came on a 21-year-old case that also involved Sasikala’s mentor and chief minister J Jayalalithaa whose death in December last year sparked a power tussle in the state. Sasikala, who was not present at the sentencing in New Delhi, was asked to immediately surrender to the police to begin serving her sentence.
The news sent shockwaves among her fans back in Tamil Nadu. More than 200 anti-riot police were deployed at a seafront resort where Sasikala was camped with a group of state lawmakers she said supported her in her bid to become the state chief minister.
Sasikala had been anointed Jayalalithaa’s successor by the state’s dominant All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (AIADMK). The party general secretary was due to be sworn in last week but a revolt by the state’s caretaker chief minister O Panneerselvam disrupted those plans and the two have been locked in a bitter battle ever since.
Knocked out of the turf war by the SC verdict, Sasikala nominated loyalist and senior AIADMK leader Edappadi K Palaniswami as party general secretary to checkmate Panneerselvam.
Source: Hindustan Times