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Sasikala's arrival unnerves AIADMK leaders in poll-bound Tamil Nadu
Sasikala's arrival in Chennai and her assertion that the AIADMK leaders who expelled her are usurpers has unnerved her rivals in the ruling party who are using all powers at their disposal to prevent her from staging a coup.

CHENNAI, Feb 8: Expelled AIADMK general secretary VK Sasikala Natarajan, 66, a close aide of former Chief Minister the late J Jayalalithaa, arrived in Chennai on Monday as she had been released from a Karnataka jail after completing four years of incarceration in a disproportionate assets case.

On the way to the city in a convoy, Chinnamma, as Sasikala is fondly addressed, told her supporters, she will enter active politics and that she is indebted to the people of Tamil Nadu. She said the machinations of Chief Minister E Palaniswami and his deputy O Panneerselvam will not succeed. She said, "This organisation (AIADMK) should not be ruined because of the selfishness of a few people." "Long live MGR, Long live Amma, Long live AIADMK and long live Tamil Nadu," she exhorted.

She offered prayers at the Muthumari Amman temple at Tenkasi. She was accorded a warm welcome by her supporters at the Tamil Nadu-Karnataka border Hosur and was led in a convoy to Chennai. Posters were seen on her route hailing her as "Raj Mata", "Permanent General Secretary and" "Guardian Goddess".

In a poll-bound Tamil Nadu, the AIADMK leaders are sparing no effort to ensure Sasikala does not make any inroads into the party, which had expelled her when she was sent to jail. She was expelled by the very same man whom she had installed as the Chief Minister - E Palaniswami.

The vehicles she and her supporters were travelling in carried the AIADMK flag even as the party had filed a police case against a "non-member" using party flag. Sasikala's nephew TTV Dhinakaran, the founder of Amma Makkal Munnetra Kazhagam, said that she remains the general secretary of the AIADMK. "She can use the flag. The matter is pending in the court. "

On Sunday, the Government confiscated the property of Sasikala's sister-in-law J Ilavarasi and nephew VN Sudhakaran, who was once Jayalalithaa's foster son and disowned, located in Wallace Garden and Alwarpetcity in the city citing the Supreme Court conviction of 2017. Ilavarasi was Sasikala's prison cellmate. She too had contracted covid and was hospitalised like Sasikala.

The Government also closed the Jayalalitha memorial at Marina beach on the pretext of maintenance before Sasikala's arrival in the city, lest she takes political mileage visiting the place. The memorial was opened on January 27, an hour after Sasikala was released from the Parappana Agrahara jail to prevent her from participating. She had been undergoing treatment for covid after release at the Victoria hospital.

It is stated that Sasikala is not eligible to contest the elections for the next six years according to sub-section 3 of Section 8 of the Representation of the People Act, 1951, as she has been convicted in "corruption" case and jailed. She has served the 4- year jail term.

In September 2013, a special court sentenced Jayalalithaa to simple imprisonment of four years. She was fined Rs 100 crore. She stepped down as the CM. The three co-accused - Sasikala, VN Sudhakaran and Ilavarasi - were also convicted. They were fined Rs 10 crore each. Jayalalithaa challenged the conviction in the Karnataka High Court, which acquitted her of all charges. In 2017, the Supreme Court upheld the special court verdict convicting all four of them. Jayalalithaa died on December 5, 2016.

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