Palaniswamy named CM pick, Panneerselvam sacked from AIADMK

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The other 3 were convicted as all the 3 judges judgement are same.

Her manoeuvres since February 6 have precipitated high drama, including legislators sequestered in a beach resort.

AIADMK General Secretary Sasikala Natrajan was today convicted by the Supreme Court in disproportionate asset case and will have to surrender herself to jail for undergoing remaining jail term.

However this does not mean the end of Sasikala's party and still she has avenues for appeal.

She was elected general secretary in December. According to the BBC, supporters of a rival politician, O. Paneerselvam, who is now standing in for chief minister, celebrated Sasikala's arrest. I will fight to save the party.

The conviction disqualified her as an MLA requiring her to step down as the chief minister.

Through a web of 32 companies, the former CM conducted her illegal transactions by receiving huge funds into bank accounts held by Sasikala, her nephew VN Sudhakaran and sister-in-law J Elavarasi, besides the bank accounts operated by the firms.

The apex court, during the hearing, had said that acquiring assets "per se" is not a crime unless the sources are found to be illegal. On Monday night, one of them, wearing only a T-shirt and shorts, scaled a wall to escape his temporary internment in the beach resort.

However, lawyer Ravindran Duraisamy feels the Sasikala camp led by her husband M. Natarajan, who is a "wounded Tiger" now, will go all out to spoil the chances of Mr Panneerselvam becoming the Chief Minister.

"Let us bury the hatchet and stay united for the good of the party and continue the fine governance of Amma", Mr Panneerselvam told reporters after the verdict, using Jayalalithaa's nickname.

"I feel Mr O. Panneerselvam is not able to get through and ironically time has caught up with him like it has caught up with Ms Sasikala".

Reactions to this update have been pouring in on Twitter, stating Justice has prevailed.

Sasikala's imprisonment will set the stage for a fresh tussle.

In his brief meeting with the Governor, Palaniswami presented a list of MLAs supporting his claim. VK Sasikala stepped up to exert pressure on Governor to invite her to form government even as the latter consulted legal experts for their opinion before taking a call.

In the hours following Sasikala's conviction, Mr Panneerselvam expressed confidence to his supporters.

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