While Jayalalithaa’s conviction in the disproportionate assets case is a victory for the judiciary and for proponents of the decriminalisation of politics, it is unlikely to end the political career of the former chief minister of Tamil Nadu. The truth is that the functioning of political parties rarely changes when their leaders are put behind bars. There are many ways for elected representatives to ensure that their parties run as smoothly as before. These include conducting regular meetings inside jail with a coterie and using loyalists as a link with party functionaries.Jayalalithaa is only the latest in a string of powerful politicians who have run their parties from jail. Others include former Bihar chief minister and Rashtriya Janta Dal chief Lalu Prasad Yadav, YSR Congress president YS Jagan Mohan Reddy and former Haryana chief minister OP Chautala.