Amid reports that VK Sasikala could take oath as Tamil Nadu’s new Chief Minister tomorrow, the Supreme Court has been petitioned to forbid her taking office till it decides on whether the 61-year-old is guilty of conspiring with J Jayalalithaa to accumulate vast amounts of wealth far exceeding their known sources of income in the early 90s.
The top court said earlier today that it would make that decision next week. A Public Interest Litigation or PIL filed this evening said that till the verdict is delivered, Ms Sasikala’s promotion should be put on hold. The Tamil Nadu Governor, Vidyasagar Rao, is in Delhi, and his plans to return to Chennai are not yet clear -he would need to swear her in.
Ms Sasikala was to be sworn-in as the Tamil Nadu Chief Minister tomorrow morning at the Madras University Centenary Hall, as was confirmed by sources.
Not for the first time would a ‘live in’ paramour/ life partner get anointed ‘ruler’ of a big state without ever having given the slightest hint of if and whether they deserve it!
When M.G. Ramchandran passed away, in almost similar conditions like Jaylalitha’s after a brief tenure of a replacement politician, his wife Janaki was made C.M.
By a very strange co incidence, this also happened on the 7th of a month – but it was 7th January 1988. She lasted for just 30 days before President’s rule had to be declared.
How long Sasikala will last is not the moot point. Observors say she is happy just being CM, even for a few days, history will still have a record of her having been C.M. of the state!
But what a sad day for this proud state!
From the likes of Rajgopalachari, to Kamraj, to Annadurai, to Bhaktavatsalam, even Karunanidhi and Jailalitha, someone like…. Sasikala?
Just who is she and how did she rise to this ‘position?’
We know this much about her only –
During her life, the last years at least, it was Ms Sasikala who was the closest aide of Ms Jayalalithaa, accompanying the powerful politician in the home they shared in Poes Garden, at business meetings, and on holidays to a tea estate in the mountain range of the Nilgiris. When Ms Jayalalithaa was hospitalised in September, complaining of dehydration, it was Ms Sasikala who took crucial decisions with doctors on the course of her treatment. And when she died, Ms Sasikala stood next to her body at a large public memorial, accepting condolences from VVIPs including Prime Minister Narendra Modi who was seen patting her head.
Here’s about what is publicly known about the lady in brief:
– Sasikala belongs to Mannargudi town of Tamil Nadu. She became friends with Jayalalithaa, then a successful film star and a rising politician, in 1976.
– She owned a video parlour then and began recording Jayalalithaa’s political engagements and speeches. Soon, she started accompanying Jayalalithaa to all social and political events.
– She was one of the few supporters left with Jayalalithaa when the latter was insulted at political mentor and superstar MG Ramachandran’s funeral in 1987. Soon, she moved in with Jayalalithaa to help run her Poes Garden residence. Sasikala’s husband and other relatives followed. Sasikala’s nephew Sudhakaran soon became Jayalalithaa’s foster son.
– Sudhakaran – the foster son, got married in 1996 in a ceremony that saw an extreme display of wealth and opulence, costing Jayalalithaa and her party the Assembly elections the following year i.e.1996. Sasikala was arrested on orders of the DMK led government for violating the Foreign Exchange Reugulation Act (FERA). While Jayalalithaa did distance herself from Sasikala following her arrest, things soon smoothed out.
– In 2011, Sasikala was thrown out by Jayalalithaa at her Poes Garden residence. Reports said she came across a conspiracy that Sasikala and her ‘gang’ (mafia) were planning to oust her.
Thus making coups is not new to Sasikala!
And she has been dramatically ousted from the Poes Garden residence. The move was taken by Jayalalithaa on account of reports she had of Sasikala and her clan plotting to seize power in the event of the former’s arrest on grounds of corruption charges. Along with her, 14 of her family were also expelled. However, the bitterness in their relationship was short lived and Sasikala soon returned to Jayalalithaa’s favour, though her family along with her husband remained deposed.
– The rough patch was short lived and Sasikala returned to Poes Garden, but this time without her husband and relatives.
Detractors suspecting foul play this time too
Isn’t it curious that on the day the party announces that Sasikala will be sworn in as C.M. the Apollo Hospital announces in a curious press conference, held 2 months after Jaylalitha’s demise, that there was no conspiracy or ‘foul play’ behind her death?
Over two months after the death of former Tamil Nadu Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa, the London specialist who treated her, Dr Richard Beale, addressed a press conference today in Chennai. Beale was accompanied by Balaji, a government doctor, Babu Abraham, a critical care consultant for Apollo Hospitals and Sudha Seshaiyyan, who performed embalming on Jayalalithaa’s body.
Putting an to end to rumours suggesting an unnatural death, Dr Beale said that the former chief minister suffered from acute diabetes and died of respiratory failure.
He said that it was complication and not conspiracy that kept them from revealing details about the CM’s health. The doctor said that an infection led to organ failure.
When asked about why no pictures of Amma were released, the doctor said that they did not allow release of information about patients who are critical. “It is not normal practice to take photos and publish private details. It is an intrusion into her privacy,” he said.
“Jaya recovered only to sink quickly,” he added. The doctor said that they ensured the best treatment for Amma.
When asked about the Madras High Court’s suggestion that Amma’s body be exhumed he said that it was ‘ridiculous’.The only thing extraordinary about this medical case was that the patient was extraordinary: Dr Beale.
Not the last word from the courts
The Supreme court had earlier said it will decide on ‘assets’ case next week; now it has been petitioned to step in and stop swearing in tomorrow.
The High Court of the state is hearing case of conspiracy behind her death.