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Sasikala returns to B'luru jail as Guv takes stock of numbers

AIADMK chief V K Sasikala on 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 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 Disproportionate Assets (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.

Jayalalithaa, Sasikala and her relatives V N Sudhakaran and J Ilavarasi had spent three weeks in Parappana Agrahara jail after they were convicted by the trial court in the Rs 66 crore DA case in September 2014 before they were let out on bail by the Supreme Court.

Sudhakaran and Elavarasi, whose conviction by the trial court in Bengaluru had been upheld by the Supreme Court, also surrendered before the court. The court abated the proceedings against Jayalalithaa on account of her death. 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.

Sasikala also visited the Ramapuram residence of AIADMK founder M G Ramachandran and briefly meditated before his portrait inside the house.

All eyes are now on Governor C Vidyasagar Rao over the swearing-in of the new Tamil Nadu Chief Minister, a day after Edapaddi K Palaniswami staked claim to form the government.

However, there has been no official word so far from Rao, who was on Monday advised by Attorney General Mukul Rohatgi to convene a special session of the Legislative Assembly within a week for holding a composite floor test.

The Governor had kept his decision pending as the verdict in the disproportionate assets case against AIADMK general secretary V K Sasikala, a claimant for chief ministership, was due to be announced by the Supreme Court, which delivered it on Tuesday, restoring her conviction and sentence, which shattered her hopes of occupying the top seat.

While caretaker Chief Minister O Panneerselvam has managed to win over the support of over 10 MPs and some MLAs, Sasikala has been able to keep the flock of around 120 of AIADMK's 134 RPT 134 legislators with her.

Though Panneerselvam does not have the explicit support of a very large number of MLAs, he has been insisting he would prove majority on the floor of the House if asked to do so.

The Governor on Wednesday again met members from the Sasikala and Panneerselvam camps.

It remains to be seen whether the Governor goes by the AG's advice for a floor test by the two competing claimants for chief ministership or invites Palaniswami to form the government.
M Post Bureau

M Post Bureau

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