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Sasikala surrenders, jailed in Bengaluru

VK Sasikala this evening drove up to a prison in Bengaluru where she has been sentenced to four years in prison for corruption in a case that involves J Jayalalithaa, the Chief Minister who died in December and was the leader of Tamil Nadu's ruling party, the AIADMK.

Wearing a brown sari, the 61-year-old left Chennai in the morning after paying tribute at Jayalalithaa's memorial, where, her party said, she took "a mighty vow" to triumph over the "conspiracy and back-stabbing" that has led the outfit to break into two unequal factions.

Sasikala is now a lodged at the same jail where Jayalalithaa and she were kept for about three weeks in 2014 when they were first convicted for corruption.

Last evening, Sasikala broke down as she addressed about 120 legislators at a resort in Chennai which, as of about five days ago, has turned into a party outpost. "They can imprison me, but they cannot imprison my care for you," she told them, adding, "wherever I am, I will be with the party."

Sasikala, till last morning, was plotting to be Chief Minister, but the Supreme Court poured cold water on those plans by stating that in the early 90s, during Ms Jayalalithaa's first term in office, the women conspired on a get-rich-quick scheme that included forcing owners of real estate to sell them land at big discounts.

Along with Sasikala, her nephew Sudhakaran (adopted by Jayalalithaa only to be disowned a year later) and sister-in-law Ilavarasi, who drove to Bengaluru with her today, were also convicted.