Voice Of The People

The Rise and Fall of Sasikala Natarajan

Jan Ki Baat traces for its viewers the rise and fall of V K Sasikala, the acting general secretary of All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam. A close aide of the former CM of Tamilnadu and head of AIADMK from 1989 to her death, Jayalalitha, Sasikala was unanimously appointed the chief of the party post Jayalalitha’s death. Sasikala is said to have misused her proximity to Jayalalitha to amass wealth for her family members, during the latter’s 3 tenures as the CM of the State. Sasikala was convicted by the Supreme Court yesterday for a 4 year imprisonment. The jailterm means that she is debarred from contesting elections for the next 10 years; 6 years after her 4 year jail sentence.

In 1996, the then chief of Janata Party, Subramaniam Swamy filed a case against Jayalalitha and her associates; the case suggested that the Tamilnadu CM had hoarded properties worth 66.65 crore disproportionate to her known sources of income, during her chief ministerial tenure from 1991 to 1996. The assets under the purview of the case span over 3,000 acres including the farm houses and bungalows in Chennai, agricultural land in Tamil Nadu, a farm house in Hyderabad, a tea estate in the Nilgiris, valuable jewellery, industrial sheds, cash deposits and investments in banks and a set of luxury cars. A raid in her Poes garden residence in 1997 recovered 800 kg silver, 28 kg gold, 750 pairs of shoes, 10,500 sarees, 91 watches and other valuables.She was convicted by Karnataka Trial Court and then later acquitted by the Karnataka High Court. The Supreme Court a few days ago overturned the acquittal. On 14thFebruary 2017, it held Sasikala guilty of helping Jayalalitha to amass illicit wealth over 60 crores, convicting her for a jail term of 4 years.

She isn’t entitled for a bail since her conviction is confirmed by the Supreme Court. Now, the legal recourse and constitutional remedies open to Sasikala is either asking for a review petition or for a curative petition. The next CM of Tamilnadu may be known soon but rumours suggest O Pannerselvam as the Tamilnadu governor’s natural choice.


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