VK Sasikala released from prison after serving 4-year jail-term

The release of 64-year-old close aide of former Tamil Nadu chief minister J Jayalalithaa comes months ahead of assembly elections
Sasikala

Expelled AIADMK leader VK Sasikala and a close aide of former Tamil Nadu chief minister J Jayalalithaa was released on January 27 after serving four years in a Bengaluru jail in a corruption case.

Sasikala, 64, will, however, remain in Victoria Hospital, where she is undergoing treatment for COVID-19 infection. The procedures for her release from jail were completed at the hospital.

She has been lodged in the Central Jail in Parappana Agrahara for four years since February 2017 in connection with the Rs 66 crore disproportionate assets case.

A huge crowd of Sasikala supporters lined up outside the Victoria Hospital, raising slogans in her favour and distributed sweets in celebration.

The release comes months ahead of Tamil Nadu assembly elections and on a day when chief minister K Palaniswami inaugurated a Rs 79 crore memorial along Chennai’s Marina beach in the name of Jayalalithaa.

Sasikala will be out of the hospital later this week, but what remains to be seen is what is next for her in the poll-bound state. A lot has changed in AIADMK while she was serving the jail term. Rebel leader O Paneerselvam, who she had ousted from the CM post before going to the jail, is back in the party. The CM she handpicked, K Palaniswami has joined hands with the Paneerselvam.

Many say though she commanded respect for three decades she will not return to politics. CM Palaniswami said recently that she won’t be back in the party. Others said AIADMK will ally with AMMK, the party founded by Sasikala’s nephew TTV Dhinakaran.

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