Amid speculations of an early release for former Jayalalithaa aide Sasikala from prison, Tamil Nadu CM Edappadi Palaniswami claimed that her release wouldn't impact the AIADMK in any manner.
Sasikala, ex-CM Jayalalithaa's former aide who is serving a jail term in a disproportionate assets case, is likely to step out of prison in January 2021 as she has completed paying a fine amount of Rs 10 crore.
When asked if Sasikala's return would hamper AIADMK's chances in the upcoming polls, TN CM Edappadi Palaniswami told the media that her release will have zero impact on the party and categorically stated that no changes would happen after her release.
In response to an RTI filed seeking information on the release date of Sasikala, the Central Prison in Bengaluru informed that she is slated to complete her jail term by 27 January 2021 and would be released if she pays the fine amount awarded by the Court. Sasikala, who was arrested in February 2017 in a disproportionate assets case, will step out of the jail just ahead of the polls in Tamil Nadu in 2021 if things pan out this way. In their response to the RTI, Bengaluru Central Prison said that Sasikala's 'probable release date' would be 27 January 2021 if the prescribed fine amount is paid and that the 'probable release date' would be moved to 27 February 2022 if the fine wasn't paid on time. Further, the reply also stated that Sasikala's release date could vary if she effectively uses the parole facility.
Sasikala has been lodged in jail since February 2017 when the Supreme Court upheld her conviction by a special court in Bengaluru in a disproportionate assets case and sentenced her to four years imprisonment. Sasikala, who took over the reins of AIADMK after the death of Jayalalithaa in December 2016, was later removed from the party by then-Chief Minister K Palaniswami-led camp. Her relatives Ilavarasi and V N Sudhakaran are also serving a four-year jail term in the case.
Meanwhile, Sasikala has also been probed into her alleged involvement in former Tamil Nadu CM Jayalalithaa's death. The Arumugasamy commission had written to the Karnataka Prisons Department and Home Secretary of the Tamil Nadu government to seek permission to question Sasikala. The commission which has already questioned 130 people, recorded Sasikala's statement in person.