Sasikala could have used the Kerala trick. Here is how
If Sasikala doesn�t get cowed down by the pressure and the new-found intrigue, she could be still sworn in as chief minister.
AIADMK general secretary VK Sasikala seems to have given up her desire to be chief minister of Tamil Nadu, now that she’s been convicted in the disproportionate assets case, and faces imprisonment of 4 years and has been red-carded from contesting any election for 10 years.
To keep the morale up in her camp of steadily diminishing MLAs from the initial 135, Edapaddi Palanisami has been elected the legislature party leader and is meeting Governor C Vidyasagar Rao with 12 MLAs as sought. But there was light at the end of the tunnel, if Sasikala didn’t want to be in jail 4 years.
If Sasikala doesn’t get cowed down by the pressure and the new-found intrigue, she could be still sworn in as chief minister. Constitutionally, the Governor is bound to swear her in, if she has the MLAs. Once she becomes chief minister, she can be in jail for a couple of months or weeks and beg away the rest of 4 year term like Kerala Congress (B) chairman Balakrishna Pillai did.
Pillai was convicted by the Supreme Court for corruption in the Idamalayar hydroelectric project and was sentenced to a year in jail. He spent some two months in prison and a longer duration of 3 months in a super specialty hospital for illness. The rest of the sentence was wiped away in a general remission by the Kerala government. Of course, his party had to switch allies from the Congress-led United Democratic Front to the CPM-led Left Democratic Front.
Sasikala’s legal team could have something similar and saved her from spending too long a time in prison. Because not everyone is deceased party supremo J. Jayalalithaa, who, unlike most others, took courage from her corruption conviction and rebounded back into Tamil Nadu’s political sphere. She only vacated it on her death last December.
Graphic: Dinesh M. Singh