In pics: Shock and celebrations after Sasikala’s conviction, Panneerselvam’s sacking | india-news | Hindustan Times
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In pics: Shock and celebrations after Sasikala’s conviction, Panneerselvam’s sacking

The Supreme Court on Tuesday sent VK Sasikala, AIADMK general secretary and leader of the legislature party, to jail for four years for corruption, a verdict that dashed the 61-year-old politician’s hopes of becoming the state chief minister.

india Updated: Feb 14, 2017 17:12 IST
HT Correspondent
Supporters of O Panneerselvam celebrate outside his residence at Greenways Road in Chennai.
Supporters of O Panneerselvam celebrate outside his residence at Greenways Road in Chennai. (HT photo )

The Supreme Court on Tuesday sent VK Sasikala, AIADMK general secretary and leader of the legislature party, to jail for four years for corruption, a verdict that dashed the 61-year-old politician’s hopes of becoming the state chief minister.

The former Jaya aide had been locked in a bitter turf war with O Panneerselvam over the past weeks.

Police was put on high alert in Chennai and across Tamil Nadu n Tuesday morning, ahead of the SC verdict in the DA case.

Tight security at the AIADMK headquarters in Chennai on Tuesday. (HT )

In its ruling, the court also barred the former video cassettes saleswoman from holding public office or contesting elections for 10 years after holding her guilty of amassing wealth disproportionate to her known income. She was also fined Rs10 crore.

The verdict came on a 21-year-old case that also involved Sasikala’s mentor and chief minister J Jayalalithaa whose death in December last year sparked a power tussle in the state. Sasikala, who was not present at the sentencing in New Delhi, was asked to immediately surrender to the police to begin serving her sentence.

The news sent shockwaves among her fans back in Tamil Nadu.

Tight secured at AIADMK head quarters, in Chennai on Tuesday. (HT )
VK Sasikala on her way to Golden Bay resort in Chennai (HT )
V K Sasikala’s opposition celebrates outside Golden bay resort in Chennai on Tuesday. More than 200 anti-riot police were deployed at a seafront resort where Sasikala was camped with a group of state lawmakers she said supported her in her bid to become the state chief minister. (HT )
Supporters of O Panneerselvam celebrate after the court ruling outside his Greenways Road residence in Chennai. (HT)
A vendor sets up shop outside O Panneerselvam’s house, selling photographs of Amma and OPS. (HT )
O Panneerselvam addresses the media at his residence in Chennai on Tuesday afternoon. (HT )

Knocked out of the turf war by the SC verdict, Sasikala nominated loyalist and senior AIADMK leader Edappadi K Palaniswami as party general secretary to checkmate Panneerselvam.

Minutes after taking charge, Palaniswami, a four-time MLA from Salem and minister for highways and ports, moved to expel Panneerselvam from the AIADMK. Nineteen others were also expelled on charges of acting against the party’s policies and principles.

Read: All you need to know about the Supreme Court DA case against Sasikala

Palaniswami is now being viewed as a front-runner for the CM post. Palanisami, a powerful leader from Salem, has contested and won four elections. He is the minister for highways and ports.

Palaniswami urged Tamil Nadu governor Vidayasagar Rao to let him form the government. But Panneerselvam’s camp has rejected his appointment.

“Nobody has the authority to elect anybody,” said Pandiarajan, a leader considered close to Panneerselvam.