AIADMK leader VK Sasikala, who has been convicted in a disproportionate assets case, surrendered in a Bengaluru jail on Wednesday evening after the Supreme Court turned down her request for more time.
She stopped on the way at late chief minister J Jayalalithaa’s memorial on Marina beach in Chennai to pay tributes. Before leaving for Bengaluru, Sasikala re-inducted relatives Dinakaran and Venkatesh into the party, years after they were expelled by Jayalalithaa. Sasikala’s move is being seen as a last-ditch attempt to hurt chief minister O Panneerselvam, who was expelled from the AIADMK on Tuesday. After her conviction in the graft case, Sasikala also appointed R Palaniswami as the legislature party chief, pitting him against acting CM Panneerselvam, who has been locked in a bitter turf war with the long-time Jayalalithaa aide over the control of the party.
Meanwhile, both rival camps led by Panneerselvam and Palaniswami met the governor as the tussle continued into Wednesday evening.
Here are highlights of the day:
10:05pm: About 120 AIADMK legislators are still holed up at The Golden Bay resort after Sasikala’s surrender. They say they will leave the resort when the governor calls them for a show of majority, according to reports.
10pm: TV reports say the governor may call a floor test on Friday. OPS has claimed the support of 40 MLAs.
9:30pm: The governor holds a meeting with the OPS camp shortly after an appointment with Sasikala’s CM nominee Palaniswami.
Meanwhile, Sasikala camp supporters have begun with #Unfairgovernor, with many users claiming the Rao is influenced by the Centre. Many believe the BJP has vested interests and is backing Panneerselvam to succeed as Tamil Nadu’s chief minister.
9pm: Acting chief minister of Tamil Nadu, O Panneerselvam, also reaches Raj Bhavan to meet governor C Vidyasagar Rao.
8:30pm: Palaniswami gives a list to governor claiming the support of 124 MLAs.
8:05pm: Sasikala has been allotted a prison cell with two inmates, according to an ANI report.
8pm: Amid the ongoing AIADMK tussle, governer Rao meets Sasikala camp MLAs, led by Palaniswami. Only a 10-member delegation of legislators has been called.
7:20pm: The governor schedules a meeting with Edapaddi Palaniswami at 7:30pm and Panneerselvam at 8:30pm tonight.
Chennai (Tamil Nadu): Edappadi Palanisamy reaches Raj Bhavan to meet Governor pic.twitter.com/OjINr9xuDc— ANI (@ANI_news) February 15, 2017
6:50pm: Sasikala requests court to be allotted an A-Class barrack in prison and 24-hour medical assistance and a place to meditate, ANI reports.
6:45pm: Jayalalithaa’s foster son VN Sudhakaran reaches Bengaluru jail to surrender. Sudhakaran was convicted along with Jayalalithaa, Sasikala and Illavarasi in the DA case.
6.40pm: Sasikala will be provided with candle-making assignment and will be given 50 rupees per day, say TV reports.
6:20pm: After medical check up, VK Sasikala and Illavarasi appear before judge. The third convict, Sudhakaran, has not yet reached court, ANI quotes sources as saying.
6:15pm: For the next four years, Sasikala will be prisoner number 10711. Illavarasi 10712.
Both of them are undergoing medical tests in the jail.
5:45pm: Cars with Tamil Nadu registration numbers vandalised outside the Parapppana Agrahara jail, police resort to lathi charge.
5.40pm: Sasikala and Ilavarasi, convicted in the DA case, surrender in Bengaluru jail.
The court hall where AIADMK general secretary VK Sasikala surrendered on Wednesday was shifted to the central jail at Parapppana Agrahara due to security reasons.
5.15pm: VK Sasikala has reached the Parapppana Agrahara jail.
4.41pm: TV reports say Sasikala’s husband Natarajan arrives at Bengaluru jail.
Sasikala supporters arrive outside Bengaluru Central Prison pic.twitter.com/aztaksYqls— Vikram Gopal (@vikramgopal811) February 15, 2017
2.57pm: Erode MLA Thenarasu says all MLAs at the Golden Bay resort are there of their own free will; OPS is misusing his power, sending rowdies to threaten.
2.55pm: Reports of an altercation between MLAs and police officials inside Golden Bay Resort.
2.45pm: At least 40 AIADMK workers removed from Golden Bay report where MLAs believed to be close to Sasikala have been camping since last week. Rapid Action Force also present at resort.
2.29pm: Police in riot gear enter Golden Bay resort to investigate MLA SS Saravanan’s claim in FIR that he and several other MLAs were being held there by force
2.09pm: Kanchipuram SP, along with 50 police officers, reaches Golden Bay resort for a probe based on the FIR filed by MLA Saravanan. The resort has been home to MLAs believed to be close to Sasikala since last week
2.06pm: TV reports say Tamil Nadu governor Vidyasagar Rao expected to decide on government formation by this evening
1.59pm: Tirunelveli AIADMK district leader Karuppuswamy Pandian resigns from party, says won’t accept Dinakaran as deputy general secretary
12.56pm: Sasikala visits MGR Memorial House in T Nagar, Chennai, before heading to Bengaluru
12.42pm: The registrar of the Karnataka high court orders shifting of court to the Central prison in Bengaluru where Sasikala is expected to surrender
12.28pm: A case has been filed against Sasikala and K Palanisamy under three sections, including kidnapping, on a complaint filed by Madurai South MLA SS Saravanan, who had escaped from Golden Bay resort where MLAs close to Sasikala were camping.
12.22pm: Sasikala’ sister-in-law Ilavarasi, also found guilty in the DA case, is in the same car.
12.20pm: Sasikala on her way to Bengaluru to surrender. Will travel by road.
12.05pm: Sasikala prays at Jayalalithaa’s memorial, heads back to her car
12 noon: Sasikala reaches Jayalalithaa memorial at Marina Beach
11.48am: Sasikala leaves Poes Garden residence
11.38am: Activity outside Sasikala’s Poes Garden residence. Vehicles being assembled. Sasikala to visit Jayalalithaa memorial first and then move to Bengaluru
SC says judgement is a very fat document. Have specifically written immediately. No further discussions @htTweets— bhadra sinha (@BhadraSinha) February 15, 2017
10:43am: In the apex court, senior advocate KTS Tulsi appeared for Sasikala. He was not allowed to complete his sentence. The SC says Sasikala will have to immediately surrender.
10:41am: Sasikala appeals for two weeks time to surrender in a Bengaluru court. Her plea for four weeks time to surrender in the apex court rejected.
10:39am:The DMK directs all its MLAs to be present and available in Chennai by evening.
10:05am: All eyes are on governor Vidyasagar Rao. Suspense still remains over who will be the CM. Both factions of the AIADMK --- led by Palaniswami and Panneerselvam --- met with the governor on Tuesday.
Sasikala appoints nephew TTV Dinakaran as acting general secretary of AIADMK in her absence before leaving for Bengaluru to surrender— K V Lakshmana (@kvlakshman) February 15, 2017
9:49am: Sasikala’s nephew, Dinakaran, was expelled by Jayalalithaa from the AIADMK in 2011, He was today re-inducted today as the party’s deputy general secretary.
And here’s what happened yesterday:
* The Supreme Court on Tuesday sent VK Sasikala 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 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 Rs 10 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.
* Later in the day, Tamil Nadu minister Edappadi K Palaniswami was nominated the AIADMK legislature party leader and caretaker chief minister O Panneerselvam was expelled from the primary membership of the ruling party.
* Panneerselvam got a boost late on Tuesday as former Jayalalithaa’s niece Deepa Jayakumar threw her weight behind him in a bruising fight for control of the ruling AIADMK.
* Jayakumar accompanied Panneerselvam and hundreds of supporters on a late-night march to Jayalalithaa’s memorial in Chennai. “I and OPS (Panneerselvam) will act as the two hands of the AIADMK. We will work together in future,” she was quoted as saying by television channels.
* Beleaguered AIADMK chief Sasikala attempted to put up a brave front hours after her conviction. “I’m sure we’ll get the invitation (to form government) as soon as possible because we remained quiet,” an emotional Sasikala told reporters, adding that “no force can separate me from AIADMK; no matter where I’ll be, I’ll always think about party”.