The Supreme Court on Tuesday found AIADMK general secretary VK Sasikala guilty in a 21-year-old disproportionate assets case and asked her to surrender immediately.
She’s been sentenced to four years in jail and also asked to pay a fine of Rs 10 crore.
The judgment also bars Sasikala from holding a public office and contesting elections for 10 years, strengthening the hand of caretaker chief minister O Panneerselvam, who is locked in a bitter power struggle with her.
Here are some reasons why this judgment gives the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) a reason to smile:
1. The BJP leadership did not want Sasikala, a close aide of J Jayalalithaa, to become the chief minister of Tamil Nadu. There were apprehensions that she was close to the Congress.
2. The BJP had suspicion that Sasikala’s husband M Natarajan, a forme public relations officer with the Tamil Nadu government, was working at the behest of the Congress to dislodge the O Panneerselvam government.
3. All along the BJP was backing chief minister Panneerselvam, who faced challenge from Sasikala and her loyalists. OPS, as the chief minister is popularly known, had discussed the issues with senior BJP leadership.
4. The message that the Centre was backing OPS helped him win back the support of many MLAs and MPs who were siding with Sasikala.
5. The BJP has been looking for a dependable ally in the south and the it was backing OPS in the belief that he will reciprocate appropriately.