All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam General Secretary VK Sasikala reached the Parappana Agrahara Central Jail in Bengaluru on Wednesday evening to surrender, a day after the Supreme Court convicted her in a disproportionate assets case. Earlier in the day, the registrar of the Karnataka High Court had ordered for the trial court to be shifted to Parappana Agrahara jail for her to surrender, ANI reported.
The AIADMK chief had made several demands before going to the prison, such as 24-hour hot water facility, a separate cell, a western toilet and a television. However, a judge has denied all her demands.
Before leaving for Bengaluru from Poes Garden residence, Sasikala appointed her nephew Dinakaran the party’s deputy general secretary. Her other nephew, Sudhakaran, has been convicted in the case along with her.
The Supreme Court had dismissed her petition seeking more time to surrender. She had sought four weeks’ time on grounds of poor health.
The party general secretary left Veda Nilayam at Poes Garden at around noon on Wednesday. She first visited Jayalalithaa’s memorial at Chennai’s Marina beach and then the MGR Memorial House in the city’s T Nagar area.
“They can only imprison me but not my love for you and the party,” she had said on Tuesday night, before a dramatic exit from Golden Bay resort near Chennai. More than a hundred AIADMK MLAs continue to be lodged at the resort. “Even if I go to prison, my concern towards the party and people will not come down. I will be always thinking about the party.”
As Sasikala’s conviction has left her ineligible for the post of Tamil Nadu chief minister, the party elected state minister Edapadi K Palanisamy their legislative leader, in an emergency meeting called after the verdict was announced. Her faction of the AIADMK also threatened to go on a hunger strike if Palanisamy was not appointed to the post.
The AIADMK had removed rival camp leader and acting Tamil Nadu chief minister O Panneerselvam and other members supporting him from the party on Tuesday. But Tamil Nadu Education Minister Mafoi Pandiarajan, who had expressed his support for OPS, had said Sasikala had “no moral or legal right” to suspend anyone from the party.
Both AIADMK camps have staked claim to form government in Tamil Nadu. Palanisamy submitted a letter signed by MLAs who support his election as the leader of AIADMK’s legislature party to Tamil Nadu Governor Vidyasagar Rao, whereas party legislator V Maitreyan, who supports Panneerselvam, met Rao along with their own delegation, The Indian Express reported.
Ahead of the Assembly session, Opposition party Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam has issued an oral whip to its to MLAs and asked them to be in Chennai by Wednesday night. The OPS camp had said they will demand a floor test in the Assembly to show their majority. Attorney General Mukul Rohatgi had said the floor test was likely to be held before the weekend.
Meanwhile, the local police has registered a case against Sasikala and Palanisamy for allegedly kidnapping the MLAs who have been lodged at the resort in Mahabalipuram. The case was lodged based on a complaint by another AIADMK legislator Saravanan. A few MLAs in Panneerselvam’s camp had switched sides, alleging that they were forced to stand by Sasikala.