V. K. Sasikala

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V. K. Sasikala
Secretary General of All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam[1]
In office
2016–2017
Deputy T. T. V. Dhinakaran
Preceded by J. Jayalalithaa
Personal details
Born V. K. Sasikala
(1954-08-18) August 18, 1954 (age 64)
Thiruthuraipoondi, Thiruvarur District, Tamil Nadu, India
Political party AIADMK
Parents Vivekanandan,[disambiguation needed] Krishnaveni[disambiguation needed]
Relatives T. T. V. Dhinakaran (nephew)
Nickname(s) Chinnamma

Vivekanandan Krishnaveni Sasikala, married name Sasikala Natarajan, is an Indian politician and business magnate from Tamil Nadu and Indian business person, who was the general secretary of All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam.[2][3] She was a close aide of J. Jayalalithaa, the former Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu, who headed AIADMK from 1989 until her death in 2016. After Jayalalithaa's death, the party's general council unanimously appointed her as the interim secretary general of AIADMK. She is the aunt of T.T.V. Dhinakaran.

She was arrested along with Jayalalithaa on 7 December 1996 and was remanded to judicial custody for 30 days in connection with the Colour TV scam.[4] During Jayalalithaa's three tenures as Chief Minister, Sasikala was alleged to have laundered huge amounts of wealth amassed by Jayalalitha. On 14 February 2017, a two-bench Supreme Court jury pronounced her guilty and ordered her immediate arrest in a disproportionate-assets case, effectively ending her Chief Ministerial ambitions.

Early life[edit]

Sasikala was born in a Tamil family from Thiruthuraipoondi who later moved to Mannargudi.[5] Her marriage to M. Natarajan was presided over by DMK leader M. Karunanidhi.[6] Her husband, who was a public relations officer in the Government of Tamil Nadu, worked closely with the District Collector of Cuddalore, V. S. Chandralekha, who in turn was very close to Tamil Nadu Chief Minister M. G. Ramachandran.[7][clarification needed]

Career[edit]

Meeting with Jayalalithaa[edit]

In the early 1980s, M. Natarajan requested V. S. Chandralekha, who was then the District Collector of South Arcot, to introduce his wife Sasikala to Jayalalithaa, who was then the Propaganda Secretary of the Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam, for recording video of party functions. Sasikala and Jayalalithaa gradually became very close.[8]

Expulsion from AIADMK[edit]

On 19 December 2011, Jayalalithaa expelled Sasikala Natarajan and 13 others including Sasikala's husband M. Natarajan, T. T. V. Dhinakaran, their relatives, and Jayalalithaa's disowned foster son V. N. Sudhakaran from the AIADMK.[9][10] Jayalalithaa alleged that Sasikala and her family were working against her.[11] The matter was resolved by 31 March 2012, when Sasikala Natarajan was reinstated as a party member after issuing a written apology.[12]

General Secretary of AIADMK[edit]

In a meeting held on 29 December 2016 – the first after Jayalalithaa's death on 5 December 2016 – the AIADMK general council unanimously appointed Sasikala as the party's general secretary.[13][14][15]

Chief Minister Elect of Tamil Nadu[edit]

On 5 February 2017, Sasikala was unanimously elected as the AIADMK Legislature Party Leader by a meeting of all the MLAs in the party.[16][17] Tamil Nadu Governor Ch. Vidyasagar Rao accepted the resignation of Chief Minister O Panneerselvam on 6 February 2017, and instructed him to continue to function as acting Chief Minister "until alternate arrangements are made".[18]

Conviction[edit]

On 14 February 2017, the Supreme Court of India found Sasikala and her co-accused — Ilavarasi (her sister-in-law) and V. N. Sudhakaran (her nephew) — guilty of conspiring, laundering and amassing illicit wealth worth about 66.44 crore (equivalent to 259 crore or US$36 million in 2017) in the 1990s in a criminal conspiracy with Jayalalithaa. The three were sentenced to a four-year jail term.[19] This restored in toto her earlier conviction in the case[20] delivered on 27 September 2014,[21] awarding a four-year jail term to her and her relatives, in addition to imposing a fine of 10 crore (US$1.4 million) each.[22] The judgment stipulated that she and her accomplices would serve an additional 12 months in prison if they failed to pay the fine.[23]

The Supreme Court refused her plea to surrender after a fortnight and to be allowed to have food from home,[24] so Sasikala and Ilavarasi, but not Sudhakaran, presented themselves for imprisonment on 15 February 2017.[25]

In media[edit]

Filmmaker Ram Gopal Varma has announced that he is planning a film covering Sasikala's early life and the things she did to gain entry into Tamil Nadu politics.[26]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "ADMK appoints "Chinnamma" VK Sasikala as party chief". 29 December 2016. Retrieved 19 December 2017.
  2. ^ "AIADMK unanimously elects Sasikala as the party general secretary". New Indian Express. 29 December 2016. Retrieved 19 December 2017.
  3. ^ "Sasikala has accepted AIADMK general secretary post, Paneerselvam says". Julie Mariappan. The Times of India. 29 December 2016. Retrieved 19 December 2017.
  4. ^ Menon, Amarnath K.; G.C., Shekar (31 December 1998). "Booty queen". India Today. Retrieved 2015-11-03.
  5. ^ "How Sasikala and 'Mannargudi mafia' strengthened clout in Tamil Nadu power play".
  6. ^ Akash Bisht (6 December 2016). "Importance of being Sasikala: Will Jayalalithaa's confidante be her heir?". CatchNews.
  7. ^ Singh, Raj. "The complete story of Jayalalithaa and Sasikala Natarajan". indiatvnews.com. India TV News. Retrieved 2014-07-07.
  8. ^ Warrier, Shobha (12 July 1996). "The many homes of Sasikala Natarajan". Rediff.
  9. ^ "Jaya expels close aide Sasikala, husband from AIADMK". IndianExpress. 19 December 2011. Retrieved 2011-12-30.
  10. ^ Warrier, Shobha (22 December 2011). "'I don't know for how many days Sasikala's expulsion will last'". Rediff.
  11. ^ "Amma Let Sasikala Stay Only Because of DA Case: Natarajan in 2014".
  12. ^ "Sasikala back at Poes Garden". The New Indian Express. 3 April 2012. Retrieved 2013-11-10.
  13. ^ "V.K. Sasikala appointed as AIADMK general secretary". The Hindu. 29 December 2016.
  14. ^ "Spent 33 Years Looking After Amma: Sasikala's First Public Speech". The Quint. 31 December 2016.
  15. ^ "VK Sasikala Asked To Explain Her Appointment As General Secretary In AIADMK". NDTV.com. Retrieved 2017-02-19.
  16. ^ Jesudasan, Dennis S. "Sasikala set to become Tamil Nadu Chief Minister". The Hindu. Retrieved 2017-02-27.
  17. ^ "Sasikala Natarajan appointed as Legislature Party Leader, set to become Chief Minister".
  18. ^ "Governor accepts CMs resignation". Business Line. The Hindu.
  19. ^ Ushinor, Majumdar. "What The SC Said About Jayalalithaa: She Was The Source Of Funds For Shell Companies". Outlook India. Retrieved 2017-02-15.
  20. ^ Rajagopal, Krishnadas. "Jayalalithaa, Sasikala criminally conspired at Poes Garden to launder ill-gotten wealth: SC". The Hindu. New Delhi. Archived from the original on 14 February 2017. Retrieved 2017-02-15.
  21. ^ "Justice John D'Cunha: The no-nonsense judge who convicted Jayalalithaa". Firstpost. Bangalore. 29 September 2014. Archived from the original on 7 August 2016. Retrieved 2017-02-26.
  22. ^ Prathima, Nandakumar (15 February 2017). "Justice D'Cunha: A no-nonsense judge who convicted Jayalalithaa, Sasikala in 2014". The Week. Archived from the original on 15 February 2017. Retrieved 2017-02-26.
  23. ^ Pinaki Chandra Ghose; Amitava Roy (14 February 2017). "Crl.A.Nos.300–303 of 2017 etc. State of Karnataka Vs. Selvi J.Jayalalitha and Ors. (Judgment in Disproportionate Assets Case) [PDF] – 14-02-2017" (PDF). Supreme Court of India. p. 70. Archived from the original (PDF) on 27 February 2017. Retrieved 2017-02-27.
  24. ^ "Sasikala surrenders in Bengaluru, sent to jail". The Tribune. Chennai/Bengaluru. PTI. 15 February 2017. Archived from the original on 18 February 2017. Retrieved 2017-02-27.
  25. ^ "V K Sasikala surrenders in Bengaluru court". Business Line. Chennai: The Hindu. PTI. 15 February 2017. Archived from the original on 27 February 2017. Retrieved 2017-02-27.
  26. ^ "With VK Sasikala in jail, Ram Gopal Varma unveils poster of his next film, Sashikala". FirstPost.