The Supreme Court today convicted AIADMK general secretary V.K. Sasikala in the disproportionate assets case. She is sentenced to four years in jail along with Rs 10 crore as fine. In effect, Sasikala cannot become the Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu, and cannot contest for elections for the next 10 years. She will be joined by others who were charged in the case, along with former and late chief minister J. Jayalalithaa.
Initial reactions poured within an hour of the SC verdict.
Outside the SC, celebrations were allegedly on in her rival's camp, the current acting chief minister O. Panneerselvam.
Subramanian Swamy, who filed the case in 1996 against then-CM Jayalalithaa, Sasikala and others, tweeted his relief: “After 20 years I won.”
After 20 years I won. Now turn of TDK Buddhu PC BC & Tata to join in jail— Subramanian Swamy (@Swamy39) February 14, 2017
AIADMK tweeted Sasikala's reaction to the conviction in Tamil. It read, “In the past whenever Amma was in crisis, I also suffered. This time also I will take it upon me. 'Dharma' will win.” In her support, AIADMK workers around her raised slogans, calling her a martyr.
M.K. Stalin, DMK leader, said that finally, justice has been served. “This will serve as an example and I hope that politicians are corruption-free in public life,” he said.
Meanwhile, Former Advocate General B.V. Acharya praised the judiciary system, saying, “Justice has been done. Judgement shows how strong and independent is our judiciary.”
Columnist and life coach Tehseen Poonavala, who has been quite vocal on matters of politics of late, decried how the SC is being “made a party to” politics. “So while Supreme Court convicts Shashikala (sic) in the DA Case...fact that SC was made a part of politics is not good,” he tweeted.
On Twitter, some were still sceptic if Sasikala's jail term would make any difference, as they feared that she could still “rule from behind the bars”.
But mostly, Twitterers expressed their relief that Tamil Nadu was just saved from a “catastrophe”.
No state has been so relieved after the conviction of a potential future CM as Tamil Nadu is today☺☺ #sasikala— Santoesha Bissesar (@MsSantoesha) February 14, 2017
As Sasikala promised to everyone that she will follow the footsteps of Jayalalithaa, she will now go to jail. 👏👏👏— Sagar (@sagarcasm) February 14, 2017
In a stunning reversal of fortunes, now Sasikala is captive, and the MLAs are free.— Ramesh Srivats (@rameshsrivats) February 14, 2017
Governor Vidyasagar Rao has proved that he was right in delaying the appointment of corrupt Sasikala. Now let the legislators decide.— Pritish Nandy (@PritishNandy) February 14, 2017
Twitterers reported that people in private offices were “clapping” as the news of the conviction broke. Someone even called Sasikala the “Marie Antoinette” of Tamil Nadu, and that the atmosphere of celebration was as if a “demon has been slayed”.
Seriously, this antipathy in TN towards Sasikala is unprecedented. Across offices people were clapping when the verdict arrived against her.— K Balakumar (@kbalakumar) February 14, 2017
@dhanyarajendran people clapped in Chennai airport as the news broke, Sasikala is lthe Marie Antoinette on TN— rajivkrishnamenon (@rajivkrishname1) February 14, 2017
I don't think I've seen such hatred towards a single person, such joy erupt at her vanquishing. It's... mythical, as if a demon's been slain— Baradwaj Rangan (@baradwajrangan) February 14, 2017