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Politics

  • Soosai Prakash A

    Here we will discuss about Tamil Nadu politics

    Soosai Prakash A

    That was the time when she urged her husband to speak to the IAS officer for shooting a video film of Jayalalithaa. The IAS officer Chandralekha was obliged to Sasikala because she had agreed to look after her son Abhijeet.

    Chandralekha introduced Sasikala to jayalalithaa and the two ladies struck an instant rapport. The rest, as we say, is history.

    Over a period of time, Sasikala became the most trusted companion of Jayalalithaa and stood by her in good times as well as bad times.

    MGR’s death in 1987 left Jayalithaa distraught. She was literally manhandled by the supporters of MGR’s wife Janaki. An astute jayalalithaa took advantage of her public humiliation and presented herself as a victim of high handedness of Janaki who became CM of Tamil Nadu after MGR’s demise for a brief period.

    Jayalalithaa succeeded in created her own coterie in AIADMK and Janaki lost the vote of no-confidence motion brought against her by Jayalalithaa’s supporters. Jayalalithaa was now the political heir of MGR.

    In 1991, Jayalalithaa swept the assembly elections in Tamil Nadu and became the CM. With the ascendance of Jayalaithaa, Sasikala became powerful too. In fact, she became more powerful than jayalalithaa, so much so that the ministers started taking orders directly from her.

    It was said that Jayalalithaa was always surrounded by family members of Sasikala referred to as ‘Mannargudi Mafia’ by the maverick Subramaniyan Swamy. The epithet related to ‘Mannargudi’, the place where Sasikala was born.

    It is said that when Sasikala had first moved in with Jayalalithaa in 1989, she had brought 40 servants from Mannargudi to Poes Garden to run Jayalalithaa’s house. All maids, cooks, securitymen, drivers and messengers at Poes Garden were hired from Sasikala’s hometown.

    Sasikala helped all her family members and her family became very rich by 1996. The stories of moneymaking through wrongful means by Sasikala’s family members spread across the state and also the country. It was one of main reasons for the defeat of Jayalalitha in 1996 election.

    Jayalalithaa’s fortune changed to positive in 1998 when ADMK won majority of MP seats in Tamil Nadu. The party became a part of Vajpayee led NDA.

    NDA’s troubleshooters like Pramod Mahajan and Brajesh Mishra started negotiating with Sasikala and her Mannarkudi Madia, but it is said by that time that even Pramod Mahajan felt it difficult to deal with Sasikala’s family which had enormous lust for money.

    Mahajan started ignoring Sasikala and her family members but it proved costlier and disastrous for Vajpayee’s government. Sasikala joined with Congress which kept on sending feelers.

    Sasikala facilitated the tea party of 1999 at Hotel Ashoka in Delhi which was attended by Sonia and Jayalalithaa. The party was hosted by Suupramanian Swamy. Subramanian Swamy was angry with Vajpayee as he refused to allot him a ministerial berth. That tea party was termed ‘a political earthquake’.

    ADMK withdrew support for Vajpayee’s government on which his government ended.

    Jayalalithaa came back to power in 2003 due to a high court order but lost the assembly elections in 2006.

    Through all these ups in Jayalalithaa’s political career, Sasikala was with her.

    In 2011, Jayalalithaa once again came back to power as CM and that was the time when Sasikala’s infamous Mannarkudi Mafia started planning for the anoinment of Sasikala as Tamil Nadu’s CM.

    They thought, Jayalalithaa would go to jail in her disproportionate assets case and that would be time for Sasikala’s elevation as CM.

    In the meantime, Jayalalithaa’s said to be good friend Narendra Modi, the then CM of Gujarat alerted her about the Mannarkudi Mafia and told her that investors were leaving Tamil Nadu because of monetary demands from Sasikala and her family.

    Another tip-off that Jayalalitha received, that was gossiped in media is about the Mafia gang poisoning her.

    An alarmed Jayalalithaa, went to a doctor for her medical tests without informing Sasikala. Her tests as be rumors by that time revealed that she was being given sedatives.

    As the rumors went ahead detailing that Jayalalithaa’s nurse at home had been appointed by Sasikala and served the CM fruits and medicines at regular interval so as to keep her in sedation.

    That was the time when Jayalalithaa’s patience was over. She also got to know about the Bangalore meeting attended by Sasikala’s relatives where they discussed the succession plan in case Jayalalithaa was incarcerated.

    On 17th December 2011, Jayalalithaa asked the Mannargudi gang to pack up and leave her Poes residence. Even Sasikala was expelled from party, some of her family members were even put behind jail for making money through illegal means.

    The decades old friendship came to an end. IT was a tragic end to a relationship that was unparalleled in Indian politics.

    But it could not last for long. Jayalalithaa re inducted Sasikala in March 2012 after she publicly distanced herself from her family members and said that she was totally unaware of any conspiracy that her family members may have hatched.

    It still remains a mystery as to why does Jayalalithaa look so helplessly dependent on Sasikala. Why has she forgiven Sasikala even after the attempt on her life that prim-facie looked the handiwork of Mannarkudi Mafia?

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