AIADMK chief V K Sasikala today visited the memorial of J Jayalalithaa and the Ramapuram residence of party founder M G Ramachandran before leaving for Bengaluru to surrender before a court. The 62-year-old leader, who was locked in a bitter tussle with AIADMK’s O Panneerselvam for Tamil Nadu’s chief ministership, took the inevitable journey to the Karnataka capital after the Supreme Court earlier today refused to give her further time to surrender.
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At the Jayalalithaa memorial on the Marina Beach, Sasikala paid floral tributes and was seen muttering something which was not audible. She had yesterday given pep talk to MLAs and supporters to stay bold and remain united. “Only I can be jailed, not the care or concern I have for this party. Wherever I will be, my thoughts will be here,” Sasikala had told both her MLAs at Koovathur resort as well as to her supporters later at Poes Garden late last night. She said she would be thinking about the party round the clock and that “no force can wean away” the party from her. Earlier today, the Apex Court had refused to entertain her plea, seeking more time to surrender to undergo jail term in the Rs 66 crore disproportionate assets case, also involving Jayalalithaa.
“We do not intend to pass any order on this. We are not going to change anything in the judgement,” a bench headed by Justice P C Ghose had said. The Bench had yesterday convicted her and two others in the 19-year-old case.
Edappadi K Palaniswami was then elected as the AIADMK Legislature Party leader.
Before leaving the Poes Garden residence of Jayalalithaa, where Sasikala continued to stay after the former’s demise last December, she was greeted by slogan-shouting supporters.
At the Jayalalithaa memorial, Sasikala made her way through the crowd of supporters that included a sobbing former Minister Gokula Indira and Deputy General Secretary and her nephew T T V Dinakaran, and put up a brave face.
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Later at the Ramapuram residence of M G Ramachandran, popularly known as MGR, she briefly meditated before his portrait.
She also paid homage to a life size statue of the former matinee idol at the residence, which she had unveiled recently.
Some women there also performed ‘aarti’ for Sasikala.