AIADMK General Secretary VK Sasikala briefing the press on Monday. (Photo: PTI)
New Delhi: The Supreme Court on Tuesday convicted AIADMK general secretary Sasikala Natarajan in the Rs 66 crore Disproportionate Assets (DA) case, ending her hopes of becoming the Tamil Nadu Chief Minister.
The apex court sentenced Sasikala to 4 years in prison, and said she would serve the remaining three and a half years, having earlier gone to jail for about six months in the same case.
Read: SC convicts Sasikala in DA case, sentences her to 4 years in prison
Sasikala is disqualified from contesting elections for 6 years under a 2013 Supreme Court judgement. This means that the AIADMK chief cannot become the Chief Minister for an effective period of close to 10 years.
Sasikala has been involved in a power struggle with acting Tamil Nadu CM O Panneerselvam for the top post. With this judgement, Panneerselvam’s path to the Chief Ministership is now much easier.
Read: Sasikala versus OPS: Attorney General says hold a joint floor test
The Attorney General of India, Mukul Rohatgi on Monday advised Tamil Nadu Governor Ch Vidyasagar Rao to hold a floor test in the state Assembly to determine which camp – Sasikala’s or Panneerselvam’s – held the majority.
But with Sasikala’s conviction, the focus shifts to Panneerselvam’s ability to prove a majority in the Assembly. The Governor will still have to call for a floor test in the Assembly, so that OPS can prove a majority and be sworn in as the CM.
Read: TN Guv man of the moment, but will Sasikala rule from the wings?
Meanwhile, AIADMK MLA Pandiarajan, who joined OPS 2 days ago, on Tuesday claimed that 11 more MLAs were in touch with the caretaker CM.