Slogans supporting OPS and characterising Sasikala as a fallen leader were raised.

Sweets and crackers as OPS supporters erupt in joy after SC conviction of Sasikala in DA case
news Politics Tuesday, February 14, 2017 - 13:37

In the minutes before the Supreme Court pronounced its verdict in the Disproportionate Assets case on Tuesday, the anticipation was palpable at sitting Chief Minister O Panneerselvam’s residence in Chennai.

More than 300 supporters thronged the OPS residence on Greenways Road, their eyes glued to the two big television screens placed outside the house that screened Tamil news channel Puthiya Thalamurai.

As the television channel broke the news that the SC has convicted Sasikala, Ilavarasi and Sudhakaran and sentenced them to four years in prison, the supporters erupted in celebration, raising slogans in support of OPS.

Singing and dancing to the tune of drums, there was hardly any reason for the supporters to hide their merriment. Packets of sweets were swiftly passed around to the cadres. 

While the people gathered outside the OPS residence consistently cheered their leader, more prominent were the slogans raised against Sasikala - whom they termed a "maid"- and her folly of aspiring to be the Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu. 

The slogans characterised her as a fallen leader and chanted the lines in chorus.

"Kaanam kaanam Sasikala kaanam , Sasikala enga pochu? Straight jail ku pochu!  4 varsham jail, no bail!" (Missing missing, Sasikala is missing. Where did Sasikala go? She went straight to the jail, 4 years jail, no bail!)

For 51-year-old Cycle Kumar, who has been stationed outside the OPS residence since 6 in the morning, spending his time on the pavement is justified, for he has come to show his support to OPS, "the reincarnation of Amma".

"Panneerselvam is a reincarnation of Amma. He is very accessible like Kamaraj. Our celebrations end only when OPS becomes Chief Minister. I will stay here till Amma's birthday is celebrated. We want Deepa also to be made part of the party. Then only she will be protected," says Kumar, a native of Madurai.

Calling Sasikala a "traitor", Thiruvannamalai-native Balaji wants OPS to lead the state of Tamil Nadu, and not Sasikala, whom Amma had blindly trusted.

Chandrasekhar of Sivagangai, too, echoes the same thought. 

"The verdict was good and we expected this. We do not want her to come out. OPS should remain CM and he will do good for the state. Amma had chosen him as her political heir," Chandrasekhar said. 

Arun from Korattur has dragged along three of his colleagues to the OPS residence, hoping that the leader would speak to his supporters post the verdict. 

Though a little disappointed that OPS had not come out of his house to address the party workers yet, Arun says, "We have bunked office to come celebrate here. We have seen OPS grow as an administrator and want him as the CM." 

Meanwhile, outside Poes Garden, Sasikala’s female supporters interpreted the conviction as a setback for the women of Tamil Nadu.

“It is a tough time for us but we are not going to give up. She will surely come back,” says Mangai Raghupathy from Villivakkam.

Another supporter Saraswathy has been stationed outside Poes Garden for the past seven days and maintains that she will continue to wait there to show that the party cadres will remain strong, no matter what. 

For Udhayakumar, an AIADMK member from Udayapuram district, the SC verdict has shattered his trust in the judiciary. 

“Chinamma used to say we will follow the law and allow the judiciary to take a decision. And look, this is what the judiciary has done to us. How will we believe the judiciary again?” he asks. 

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