Former Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa’s close aide VK Sasikala on Sunday left the Bengaluru hospital in a car flaunting the flag of Tamil Nadu’s ruling All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (AIADMK), which has expelled her and refused to take her back into its fold, signalling her intent to fight the party leadership as the state gears up for another high-decibel election.
Sasikala appeared frail from inside the car, bowing to supporters who had gathered outside the hospital chanting Vazhga Chinnamma. She had been receiving treatment for over 10 days for the coronavirus disease (Covid-19).
The decision to use the AIADMK flag on the car, analysts said, was a message that she still belongs to the party and continues to stake a claims to the legacy of Jayalaithaa, who died in December 2016.
“Sasikala will remain in Bengaluru for another week,” sources said. After consulting an astrologer, the 66-year-old Sasikala decided to get discharged on Sunday just after 12.00 pm, followed by a convoy of at least 10 cars out of the hospital and moved into Prestige Golfshire, a high-end resort near Nandi Hills, about 45 kms from Bengaluru.
She is expected to complete the seven-day quarantine period in the resort and return to Tamil Nadu after February 7 in a grand homecoming of sorts, sources added.
Her return shakes up existing equations within the faction-hit AIADMK amid mixed reactions in Tamilnadu on Sasikala’s imminent return to the state after serving out her prison term for amassing assets disproportionate to her income and treatment for Covid-19.