Former Tamil Nadu chief minister J Jayalalithaa has again appealed to her supporters not to take extreme steps in the wake of her sentencing in a graft case, reassuring them she will overcome the latest legal challenge.
Last week, the All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (AIADMK) had expressed concern over the death of 193 people due to various reasons including suicide, apparently upset over her jail term in an illegal assets case.
Since her statement on October 19, after coming out on bail, 26 more people have died, according to a list released by the AIADMK headquarters.
Extreme reactions over the death or troubles of political leaders are not new in Tamil Nadu and similar drastic expression of grief has been known to erupt in neighbouring Andhra Pradesh as well.
"I am confident that I will come out triumphant crossing all challenges" with divine help, Jayalalithaa said in a statement on Saturday.
"Therefore, I kindly request the people of Tamil Nadu not to resort to such extreme measures," she added and announced a relief of Rs 3 lakh each to the families of the deceased on behalf of her party.
Earlier, she had announced the same amount as relief for the families of 193 persons identified as having died due to her conviction and sentencing.
The former CM was sentenced to four years in jail in a Rs 66.65-crore disproportionate assets case by a Bangalore special court on September 27. The court also imposed a fine of Rs 100 crore on her.
She was granted bail by the Supreme Court on October 17 and returned home the next day.
Jayalalithaa has compared her "present situation" to "swimming in a sea of inferno".