VN Sudhakaran, Jayalalithaa’s once ‘foster son’ and later ‘disowned son’ reached Apollo hospital at Greams Road in Chennai around 6 pm on Thursday.

Once Jayalalithaas favoured foster son Sudhakaran now refused entry into Apollo
news Jayalalithaa Thursday, October 06, 2016 - 20:04

On Thursday, as Jayalalithaa was being treated at the Apollo hospital in Chennai, with her confidante Sasikala next to her, a visitor came calling.

The last time they were in the same space was in September 2014 when Special Judge John Michael Cunha sentenced them in the disproportionate assets case.  

VN Sudhakaran, Jayalalithaa’s once ‘foster son’ and later ‘disowned son’ reached Apollo hospital at Greams Road in Chennai around 6 pm on Thursday.

Wearing a white Chinese collared shirt, he reached the main gate of the hospital in an Innova car. Commotion ensued as journalists present at the hospital gate scrambled to get visuals of the man.

Though the car stopped outside the hospital, waiting for policemen and hospital security to remove barricades installed at the gate, no one made a move. With Sudhakaran accompanied by another man showing no signs of leaving, a few policemen went inside the hospital to get instructions.  

There was much excitement as most expected the policemen to return with permission to let Sudhakaran inside. But around 7 pm they came out with instructions that he could not enter the main block of the hospital and visit Tamil Nadu Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa.

Sudhakaran who had not got down from the car even for a minute swiftly drove away.

While Sudhakaran, also Sasikala’s nephew, was a foster son for a short while, even Jayalalithaa’s own niece Deepa Jayakumar had not been allowed to visit her aunt. Jayalalithaa’s relationship with Deepa's father had soured a few years before his death and though the niece had waited outside the hospital for two days, she had not been allowed inside. 

Jayalalithaa's niece says not allowed to meet her, CM's step brother also trying in vain

VN Sudhakaran, a hitherto unknown face in Tamil Nadu politics was suddenly adopted by Jayalalithaa in 1995. At the time of announcement, Sudhakaran was betrothed to legendary actor Sivaji Ganesan’s granddaughter Satyavati and the marriage scheduled to be held in September 1995.

Jayalalithaa told her party cadres that they should consider the wedding as one within the family and celebrate it.

The extravagant wedding spelled the beginning of Jayalalithaa’s downward spiral then. Public anger built up against her as crores were splurged on the wedding and the images of a fully decked up Jayalalithaa and Sasikala became a symbol of corruption.

Image by Nakeeran

Jayalalithaa was routed in the 1996 election and was jailed on corruption charges.

In the DA case against her, Judge Cunha found that of the total expenditure at around Rs 8 crore, expenses borne by Jayalalithaa were Rs 3 crore.

Image by Hindu Businessline

After the extravagant wedding, things soured between Jayalalithaa and her foster son. Though she never spelt out the reason for disowning him, many reports from the time suggest that Sudhakaran took away crores from her Poes garden residence and never returned it. He was disowned by Jayalalithaa on August 25, 1996, a day that he later termed as his ‘Independence Day’.

Sudhakaran told Outlook in 1997 that Jayalalithaa made him a foster son on his engagement day for settling her personal scores. According to him, Jayalalithaa had to stand up each time Sivaji Ganesan entered a function to show her respect and she had resented it. By positioning herself as the 'groom's mother', she ensured that Sivaji was relegated to being the bride's emissary, he alleged. 

Sudhakaran had in 1996 started JJ TV, and went on to manage it for some years. He also formed a small outfit called the "Chinna MGR Narpani Manram” (Junior MGR Fan Club).

In 2001, hours after he made an adverse comment on Jayalalithaa, Sudhakaran’s house in Chennai was raided on a complaint registered by a former aide. An unlicensed gun and a packet of heroin were seized, leading to his arrest.  

In September 2014, Sudhakaran, a co-accused in the disproportionate assets case against J Jayalalithaa was sentenced to four years in prison along with the TN CM, Sasikala and her niece Ilaivarasi.

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