Expelled AIADMK leader and a close aide of former Tamil Nadu Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa, VK Sasikala, has been released after spending four years in a Bengaluru jail.
Expelled AIADMK leader and a close aide of former Tamil Nadu Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa, VK Sasikala, has been released after spending four years in a Bengaluru jail in a corruption case. However, she will remain in a hospital in the city as she is being treated for Covid. The leader will also continue to get protection from Karnataka Police as long as she remains in the state.
The 66-years old politician was released from the Central Jail in Bengaluru’s Parappana Agrahara after jail officials completed the formalities at the hospital. The hospital’s medical superintendent said Sasikala will continue to be at Victoria Hospital for four to five days more. Outside the Victoria Hospital, a huge crowd of her supporters gathered, who raised slogans in her favour and distributed sweets in celebration.
Hospital authorities, shortly before her release, said she is stable, adding that she is “conscious, alert and well oriented”.
“The decision for her to continue treatment in Victoria Hospital has been taken by her and her family members,” health bulletin by the hospital said.
The former AIADMK leader’s release from the jail has co-incidentally come on a day when the Tamil Nadu Chief Minister Edappadi K Palaniswami inaugurates a ₹ 79 crore memorial Jayalalithaa along Chennai’s Marina Beach.
In the Rs 66 crore disproportionate assets case, Sasikala was sentenced to four years in prison in 2017. Her sister-in-law J Ilavarasi and J Jayalalithaa’s foster son VN Sudhakaran were also sentenced in the same case.
Sasikala’s release comes a few months before the highly anticipated assembly elections in the state. Just six days before the date of her release, she tested positive for coronavirus.
Sasikala, at the height of her power, was a hugely influential force within the AIADMK. She can emerge as a key player in the upcoming elections if she can rediscover even some of that influence.
Mr Palaniswami, however, has ruled out talk of Sasikala’s re-entry into the ruling AIADMK, which is reportedly under pressure from its ally the BJP.