The Supreme Court on Tuesday convicted AIADMK general secretary VK Sasikala in a disproportionate assets case on Tuesday, delivering a blow to her chances of becoming the Tamil Nadu chief minister since the ruling bars her from holding a public office and contesting elections for at least next six years.
Tamil Nadu minister and Sasikala loyalist Edappadi K Palaniswami was nominated the AIADMK legislature party leader shortly afterwards, and caretaker chief minister O Panneerselvam was expelled from its primary membership.
Tuesday’s events are the latest in a string of events in Sasikala’s bitter turf war with Panneerselvam. The latter had resigned from the CM’s post last week and later claimed that he was forced to resign by a section of party legislators.
Here is a timeline of events since Jayalalithaa’s death.
December 5, 2016: J Jayalalithaa dies at Chennai’s Apollo Hospital at the age of 68 after suffering a cardiac arrest. O Panneerselvam, popularly known as OPS, swiftly sworn in as chief minister.
December 6: At her funeral, VK Sasikala and her family, many of whom Jayalalithaa despised, surround her body and welcome Prime Minister Narendra Modi and others.
December 10: Calls for Sasikala to become the leader of AIADMK grow stronger. Posters with the moniker “Chinnamma” or Little Mother start appearing.
December 29: In an unprecedented move, Sasikala is appointed the general secretary of the party at AIADMK general meeting. According to bylaws, she is ineligible for the post. Same bylaws also stipulate that an “interim” GS post cannot be established.
January 3, 2017: The Tamil Nadu government finally responds to mass farmer suicides after the failure of the northeast monsoon and drought destroy the winter crops. OPS establishes an investigative committee to probe the extent of the damage and award compensation.
January 17: The arrest of 500 pro-Jallikattu activists in Madurai district’s Alanganallur spurs a large scale protest at Marina Beach in Chennai. Protesters demand the law to be amended and permission for the sport to be held.
January 19: Panneerselvam meets PM Modi to get an ordinance permitting Jallikattu passed.
January 22: The TN government tries to hold Jallikattu events, despite intense pressure from pro-Jallikattu activists. Panneerselvam not allowed to enter vaadi vaasal or the entrance of the arena in Alanganallur, and has to return to Chennai.
January 23: Emergency ordinance passed in legislative assembly amending the 1960 Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act. Violence ensues as police clash with protesters at Marina Beach. Police also attack nearby fishing hamlets on the pretext of “combating anti-nationals.” OPS government faces intense criticism across India.
February 5: OPS resigns as the CM for “personal reasons.” Sasikala elected as head of the legislative party, makes plans to form the government the next day. Governor C Vidyasagar Rao accepts OPS’ resignation, but orders that he continue on the post until a new CM is elected.
February 6: Plans to elect Sasikala as CM as postponed, as governor Rao says he is unable to attend the ceremony due to scheduling issues.
February 7: OPS meditates for 40 minutes next to Jayalalithaa’s memorial. He then proceeds to tell reporters he “was forced to resign,” and that Sasikala and her family have tarnished Jayalalithaa’s legacy and that he will fight them “alone if need be.”
February 9: OPS camp gets a huge boost after E Madhusudhanan, presidium chairperson, joins.
February 10: Sasikala takes 129 MLAs and keeps them at Golden Bay resort at Kuvathur near Chennai to prevent any defections to OPS’ side.
February 14: Sasikala is convicted in the DA case, sentenced to 4 years in jail. Edappadi K Palaniswami appointed head of the legislature party, expels OPS from AIADMK.