Supporters organise grand send off for VK Sasikala as she goes back to jail
After eight long months Sasikala came on an emergency parole to Chennai to meet her ailing husband. Her presence in Chennai was a celebration time for the AIADMK Sasikala faction members.
Eight months is a long time when one looks at the political hyperactivity in the state of Tamil Nadu. But VK Sasikala has been missing from the activity on ground.
With the party infighting and splits that has been witnessed in AIADMK, the blame for the downfall of the party has been on Sasikala, considered to be former CM J Jayalalithaa's shadow, and her family.
After eight long months Sasikala came on an emergency parole to Chennai to meet her ailing husband who underwent dual transplant operations. Sasikala's presence in Chennai was a celebration time for the AIADMK Sasikala faction members.
Large number of people used to wait day and night outside the residence of Krishnapriya, Ilavarasi's (Sasikala's jail mate and sister-in-law) daughter, and at the Gleneagle Global hospital- where Natrajan is undergoing treatment.
The euphoria that one witnessed while "chinamma" stepped outside was nothing close to the madness that one has seen with Amma (Jayalalithaa) but it certainly was sight to behold. From people touching the ground and trying to get as close to the car as possible to greet Sasikala, the AIADMK's Sasikala faction left no stones unturned to show their happiness.
After completion of her allotted parole time, Sasikala started her journey from the residence to Bangalore's Parapanagrahara prison where she is to spend three more years to complete her sentence.
For prisoner 3295 (Sasikala), the roads were filled with AIADMK party workers who had come to see off their chinamma.
Within the first few kilometres from Krishnapriya's residence Sasikala's vehicle was stopped by women supporters who did a huge arti and broke coconuts in front of the car. Teary-eyed women rushed to the front seat and screamed, "Chinamma, we will be waiting for you. Don't worry you will be the one to always win."
Well, if this was not enough, just meters ahead of the Raj Bhavan in Chennai, the convoy was again stopped by a small group of people with the party flag in their hands and raising praises for Sasikala. While there were celebration all along the way, most of the supporters later walked back with tears as the convoy vehicle passed their pit stops.
Meanwhile, calm and composed Sasikala sat with her hands folded and greeted her supporters.
Sasikala has never had the god-like image that Jayalalithaa enjoyed. But the party cadres still wanted to bid a happy farewell to their leader. A few couples in fact wanted their children to be named by Sasikala. One of the proud parents said, "How many children have the luck to be named by Chinamma?".
During all the five days, the euphoria remained the same. In fact, the party workers had ensured that the hoarding of Sasikala, TTV Dhinakaran and the party flag was perfectly placed all along the way.
The fans followed her with craze and kept sloganeering till Sasikala and her convoy crossed the Tamil Nadu border.
Such a fan following raises questions on whether the AIADMK cadres still slant towards Sasikala and her family? "Rama had to stay in exile for 14 years to return to Ayodhya and win the thrown, our Chinamma is off on a similar exile now. When she returns, she will be our leader", one supporter said.