Another setback for Sasikala, husband arrested

Tamil Nadu chief minister Jayalalithaa's former close aide Sasikala's husband Natarajan has been reportedly arrested by Thanjavur police in Chennai in connection with a land grab case.

india Updated: Feb 18, 2012 21:28 IST

The husband of Tamil Nadu chief minister Jayalalithaa's estranged aide Sasikala was arrested today in a land grabbing case, police said.

A team of police from Thanjavur arrested M Natarajan and took him to that town.

He was arrested on a complaint filed by a person from a village near Thanjavur.

Natarajan is the third person from Sasikala's family to be arrested.

Earlier, Sasikala's brother Diwakaran and a relative Ravanan were arrested in connection with criminal cases.

Jayalalithaa expelled Sasikala and 11 of her relatives last December for reported interefernce in state administration and party affairs.

No reason was cited but sources said Jayalalithaa was angry over Sasikala — who lived in the CM's house till a few days ago — and her relatives functioning as a parallel power centre in the party. There were also rumours last week of a palace coup against the CM.

Whenever Jayalalithaa has been in power — thrice from 1991 — Sasikala has been accused of having a say in official postings, distribution of poll tickets to party candidates and selection of key office-bearers.

Sasikala's husband M Natarajan, a former government PR officer, had introduced Sasikala to Jayalalithaa, then propaganda secretary in the AIADMK, during the last stages of MG Ramachandran's chief ministership from 1977 to 1987.

Jayalalithaa first disowned Sasikala after the AIADMK's drubbing in the 1996 polls. The defeat was attributed to Sasikala's ostentatious display of wealth, particularly at her nephew Sudhakaran's wedding in 1995. But the two patched up some years later.

(With PTI inputs)

First Published: Feb 18, 2012 20:51 IST