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Opinion

Sasikala’s release may liven up TN polls

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Chennai: The Tamil Nadu elections, which are expected to take place in early 2021, have become more interesting with the likely early release of VK Sasikala, the friend, partner, confidant and assistant of the late Tamil Nadu chief minister, J Jayalalithaa.

Still, Sasikala’s term, who is serving four years in a disproportionate assets case, was expected to end in February, but his lawyer said he could be out even in January. He has paid 10 million rupees and a fine of 10,000 which the court imposed as part of his punishment.

Sasikala’s attorney, Raja Senthoor Pandian, said the court accepted the fine. “Our main objective is his early release. We are putting pressure on the prison authorities no later than January 27, 2020, ”he said.

“He was on probation for 12 days in March 2018 and for five days in October 2017. Other than that, his sentence may be reduced, as he is eligible for a three-day good conduct remission for each of the 46 months of prison since February 2017, “Pandian said. Four members of Sasikala’s extended family arranged the amount of the fine, the lawyer said.

His release could complicate things for All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam and upset political alignments in the state.

In 2017, after the Supreme Court reinstated the Bengaluru trial court judgment in full against Sasikala and his two family members, VN Sudhakaran and J Elavarasi in the disproportionate assets case, he surrendered on February 15, 2017 and he has been serving his sentence ever since.

Sudhakaran and Elavarasi are also facing four years in prison in the case of the assets. All three were fined 10 million rupees. Pandian said efforts are being made to pay for each other’s fins as well. .

According to political analysts, Sasikala’s early release could have implications for the assembly elections in Tamil Nadu.

“Sasikala is a high risk player. They have to deal with it as they do with a greenhouse, ”said Ramu Manivannan, director of the department of politics and public administration at the University of Madras. “Sasikala knows the backgrounds of all the main AIADMK members inside and outside, even if they try to drive her away. ”

Chief Minister Edappadi K Palaniswam, (EPS), once considered her protégé, stated that Sasikala’s release would not alter AIADMK’s position to keep her and her family members at bay. “According to me, (his release) will not change anything,” he told reporters on Wednesday.

Following Jayalalithaa’s death in December 2016, Sasikala briefly held the reins of the All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam party. After his conviction, EPS became Prime Minister and joined OPS in expelling Sasikala.

Interestingly, it was EPS who expelled Sasikala from the party after his conviction.

Sasikala’s nephew and former TTV Dhinakaran MP, who was also expelled with her, later opposed the RK Nagar assembly seat of Jayalalithaa as an independent candidate and won by more than 40,000 votes.

In 2018, he formed Amma Makkal Munnetra Kazhagam (AMMK) and 18 AIADMK MLA rebels, who supported Sasikala, joined the party. His resignation resulted in a protracted legal battle, and by-elections for these seats and four additional seats were held in 2019. The AMMK did not win any of the seats.

In October this year, the income tax department attached Sasikla’s properties worth Rs 1.5 billion.

Meanwhile, the AIADMK has modified its statutes to prevent her from holding any position in the party. Under the new rules, only a person who has been an active member of the party for five years can hold an organizational position.

(With contributions from the Agency)

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