Jailed AIADMK leader VK Sasikala was granted parole on Friday for five days, from October 7 to 11, to visit her ailing husband in Chennai.
The 60-year-old leader is serving a four-year-sentence at Bengaluru’s Parappana Agrahara prison for corruption. Her nephew and ousted AIADMK leader TTV Dinakaran arrived at the jail to accompany her.
Her husband, M Natarajan, underwent a liver and kidney transplant at a Chennai hospital this week but the opposition has raised questions over the process of organ donation.
In the parole order, a copy of which HT has accessed, the prison authorities have laid a series of conditions. Sasikala has been advised to only visit the hospital and stay at her house.
Further, Sasikala has been asked not to entertain any visitors at her residence or at the hospital during the five days. “During the emergency parole period you are not suppose[d] to involve in political or any other public activities or not to take part in party activities”, the parole order read.
Sasikala has also been ordered to not interact with the media during this period.
The parole comes at a time when she and her nephew have been increasingly sidelined in Tamil Nadu following the merger of two faction led by chief minister E Palaniswami and former chief minister O Panneerselvam. Dinakaran and Sasikala have been removed from all party positions and all appointments made by them have been junked.
Dinakaran’s political future now hinges on a decision of the Madras high court, which is hearing petitions challenging the disqualification of 18 MLAs loyal to him. If the disqualifications are overturned, the Tamil Nadu government would lose its majority in the assembly.