NEW DELHI, Feb. 15 (Xinhua) — V.K. Sasikala, head of ruling party All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Khazagham (AIADMK) in southern Indian state of Tamil Nadu was Wednesday evening jailed after she surrendered before a special court, officials said.
Sasikala, a lifelong associate of J Jayalalithaa, the four-term chief minister of Tamil Nadu, was Tuesday found guilty of corruption in a 21-year-old Disproportionate Assets case by India’s Supreme Court.
“Sasikala arrived at the court this evening and surrendered before Judge Aswatha Narayana,” SND Kulasekaran, counsel for Sasikala told media. “After completing the formalities Sasikala walked to the jail.”
She along with the two co-accused will have to serve the four-year jail term in Parappana Agrahara central jail on the outskirts of Bengaluru city.
Earlier in the morning Sasikala’s lawyers submitted a plea in Supreme Court seeking more time to surrender. But the court rejected the request.
The Disproportionate Assets case was originally against Jayalalithaa and Sasikala along with two others co-accused. The case dating back to the 1990s was based on the fact that during Jayalalithaa’s first term as chief minister, she misused her office to amass assets in a shared fortune with Sasikala and other two.
Jayalalithaa died of illness in December last year at the age of 68.
Sasikala has already served almost six months in jail in the case and now has to serve the remaining imprisonment of three years and six months.
The conviction will bar Sasikala from contesting elections for the next 10 years and has dashed her dreams to become chief minister of Tamil Nadu.
Sasikala, last week approached state’s Governor C. Vidyasagar Rao staking claim for the post. However, her ambitions split the party with incumbent Chief Minister O. Panneerselvam opposing her move and thereby pushing the state into political crisis.
Initially Panneerselvam announced resignation and supported her move to become AIADMK’s legislature party leader. However, later on he revolted against Sasikala saying he was forced to resign.
She has expelled Panneerselvam from the basic membership of AIADMK.
Following the Supreme Court order Sasikala Tuesday evening held meeting with her 120 party legislators and nominated the party’s new presumptive chief minister E. Palaniswamy.
Meanwhile, the newly elected legislature party leader of AIADMK, E. Palaniswamy accompanied by his key associates visited governor’s office asking Vidyasagar Rao to invite him at the earliest to form the new government.