When hope turned into despair

The special court that convicted AIADMK supremo Jayalalithaa on Saturday witnessed a roller-coaster of emotions when a crisp, sunny morning turned into a nightmare for party members who flooded Bangalore.

The convoy of the Tamil Nadu Chief Minister was welcomed by thousands of party workers on the Hosur Road, whose presence stalled traffic for hours. Ironically, the city was dotted with posters extending “hearty welcome” to ‘Amma’, lending a flavour only cities in Tamil Nadu were used to.

The police used mild force to bring order.

Hours before Ms. Jayalalithaa’s arrival by a special flight, most Ministers of the Tamil Nadu government and AIADMK MPs and MLAs made their way into the court complex area, where they were provided passes to go as near as 20 meters from the building. The convoy of the Deputy Speaker of Lok Sabha, M. Thambidurai, was alone let into the barricaded area whereas others had to walk.

Some of the MLAs, including the former Tamil Nadu Assembly Speaker D. Jayakumar, were present when Ms. Jayalalithaa’s car entered the court just past 10.30 am.

All through the day, senior Ministers such as Natham R. Vishwanathan, and Chennai Corporation Mayor Saidai Duraisamy, were seen pacing around on the road outside the court, constantly chattering into a cell phone.

Some of them, such as Higher Education Minister P. Palaniappan, continued to stay put outside the jail complex as late as 8.45 pm.

Sources inside the court complex said the conviction was announced within five minutes of the start of the proceedings.

Ms. Jayalalithaa stepped out twice- first for a 15-minute chat with Mr. Paneerselvam following the announcement of the conviction and at around 3 pm to have her lunch in her car. Incidentally, the national flag on her car was removed the mome

All the four accused appeared “anxious” during the proceedings.

By 4 p.m. when the judgement was clear to the outside world, some of the AIADMK MLAs and Ministers began leaving the area secured by thousands of security personn

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Printable version | May 6, 2021 7:36:04 AM |

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