The Supreme Court 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. The judgment bars Sasikala from holding a public office and contesting elections for at least next six years. Here is a timeline of the tainted leader’s life from her association with J Jayalalithaa to the conviction in the disproportionate assets case:
Born into a modest family in Thiruthuraipoondi on January 29, 1956, VK Sasikala married Natarajan after graduation and ran a video rental store in Mylapore.
In the early 1980s, Natarajan, a Tamil Nadu government public relations officer, requested IAS officer VS Chandralekha to introduce his wife to Jayalalithaa, then AIADMK propaganda secretary. Chandralekha obliged.
Sasikala got a contract to cover a Jayalalithaa tour and the latter was impressed with her work. Within weeks of coming in contact with the fast-rising AIADMK star, Sasikala became her closest friend.
Her companionship with Jayalalithaa grew to such an extent that she was considered a sister and even took charge of running her household.
Jayalalithaa even adopted Sasikala’s nephew Sudhakaran and organised a grand wedding for him that was the talk of the state.
This wedding led to a spate of income tax raids and a disproportionate assets case against Jayalalithaa and Sasikala
BLIPS ALONG THE WAY
The ties apparently soured, but Sasikala and managed to make her way back into Jayalalithaa’s good books even after being thrown out of the Poes Gardens residence.
In 1990, Jayalalithaa ousted Natarajan out of the Poes Gardens residence but Sasikala stayed on.
In 1996, Jayalalithaa again came to Sasikala’s defence when she was advised against maintaining ties. News reports of the time asserted that Sasikala did not get involved in party or government affairs.
Amma (mother), as Jayalalithaa was popularly known, again ousted Sasikala from her house in October 2011, only to take her back in a few months after Sasikala gave an assurance that she would not interfere in any political or administrative matter.
Sasikala also gave an undertaking to keep Natarajan out of Poes Gardens.
Jayalalithaa had an elder brother, Jayakumar, but reportedly distanced herself from all her relatives and began to place her entire faith in Sasikala.
Jayakumar died in 1990 after which no other relative had access to her, including her niece Deepa Jayakumar. Deepa tried to call on Amma when she was admitted to Apollo Hospital in November last year, but was unsuccessful.
In an interview, Jayalalithaa had declared that “Sasikala has taken the place of my mother”.
Amma would brook no argument from anyone criticising or questioning Sasikala. For the party men and women Sasikala eventually became Chinnamma.
Dec 5: Jayalalithaa dies
Dec 6: Sasikala and her entire family surround Jayalalithaa’s body at Rajajij Hall, greet Prime Minister Narendra Modi. Rumours intensify that she will take over as CM.
Dec 10: Sasikala posters calling her Chinnamma (little mother) appear, as AIADMK legislators continue to say she should be the leader.
Dec 29: Sasikala appointed AIADMK general secretary at party meet.
Feb 5: O Panneerselvam resigns as CM, Sasikala named head of AIADMK legislature party and put forward as next CM
Feb 7: Panneerselvam revolts, denouncing Sasikala and her family, and saying he will fight them all “alone if need be”.
Feb 14: Sasikala is convicted in the DA case, is sentenced to 4 years in jail. Her chances at being chief minister are now over as she cannot contest any elections.