Thursday, 20 October 2011

Tense moments at poes garden

It was a nerve racking morning for everyone at Jaya’s official residence Veda Nilyam at Poes Garden. Be it the Chief Secretary or the Advocate General or Intelligence Chief or any of Jayalalitha’s ministerial colleagues.   Right after the Supreme Court dismissed Jaya’s petition to defer her personal appearance it became clear that Amma has to face the inevitable…since then tense moments prevailed inside Amma’s residence. 

Sources tell whispers in tamil nadu…legal experts and advocates were called in to discuss what can be done next…till late night yesterday Jayalalitha was reluctant to appear in court.  But officials and advocates had instilled the truth that it is inevitable and there is no other option left but to appear before the Special Court as ordered by the Apex court…after hectic deliberations and reluctance finally Amma agreed.

Early in the morning Tamil Nadu Chief Minister went through all the newspapers of the day to get an idea how the reportage will be…  Officials had already assured her that the focus of national TV will not be on her as there are many other events lined up in Bengaluru like the inauguration of ‘Namma Metro’ train services and Yedyurappa’s bail plea.

Jayalalitha’s convoy left poes garden sharp at 8.30  this morning.   Journalists and camerapersons who are usually allowed till the gates of Vedha Nilayam were stopped faraway much to their surprise.  Amma’s cronies believed cameras jostling for space to cover amma’s distressing visit to Bengaluru would annoy her.    Sources say Sasikala’s relatives who came to Vedha Nilayam to give amma a word of comfort were turned away. 

It was an early day for top officials of Tamil Nadu government.   Everybody bee lined to poes garden with tense faces.   While top officials accompanied amma till airport while other senior officials and ministers in Jaya’s cabinet were asked not to venture anywhere near poes garden. Almost all the ministers were waiting at the airport keeping their fingers crossed. This time, the usual cheers and bouquets were missing.   Tension was palpable in the air.

As Amma’s convoy left for Bengaluru in a gloomy mood, opposite to poes garden in a short distance it was celebration time for Jayalalitha’s bête noire Karunanidhi.   Once news reached Karunanidhi about Jayalalitha’s movement, Karuna’s mood turned jubilant say insiders in the DMK.  Ignoring the drubbing of DMK’s candidate in the Trichy bye-election Karuna was seen smiling and cracking jokes and was waiting for television crews approaching him for a sound bite.   A gleeful Karunanidhi commented  “Jayalalitha has finally bowed to justice. I will not seek her resignation.  It is her habit.”

Jaya arrived at Bengaluru and from the HAL airport left for Parappana Agrahara where her former Karnataka counterpart is cooling his heels.   Parappana Agrahara is the Central Prison of Bengaluru where the Special Court is situated.  

The Bengaluru police is not taking any chances given the attention this case has got from the Supreme Court.  The entire route from HAL airport to the Central Prison was completely sanitised. Bengaluru police went to the extent of clamping 144 prohibitory orders around the court till the hearing is over. Around 1500 policemen were on duty to see that not a speck of dust touches Amma.  

As whispers had told earlier, the DMK backed Sun TV and Kalaignar TV had a newsy day.   Sun TV had sent its OB vans to Airport and Bengaluru Special Court.  Kalaignar TV’s OB van which was lying idle since its inception was also in action in Bengaluru. 

Special Judge B.M.Mallikarjuniah and Jayalalitha met eye to eye at 11 am inside the court hall which was turned into a fortress.   Except advocates who are connected with the case all others were barred entry.   The Judge had a long list of questions for Amma, sources say around 400.   The pre-lunch session saw little progress in completing the procedure and the session broke for lunch.  Jayalalitha who is under tremendous stress had vegetable sandwiches inside her SUV.

At the pace the questioning procedure is going on it appears that Amma's agony may continue tomorrow and Amma is likely to come back and fly back to  Bengaluru tomorrow.  And the tense situation will continue tomorrow as well.

All eyes on Bengaluru!

The entire DVAC top echelons are camping at Bengaluru to please Jayalilathaa…as she appears before a Special Court trying the disproportionate assets case against her.   Barring the DVAC Chief K.P.Maghendran, the entire DVAC top brass Inspector General of Police - AMS.Gunaseelan, Deputy Inspector of Police - G.Venkatraman, Superintendent of Police - TN.Venkateswaran and Deputy Superintendent of Police and Investigating Officer - G.Sambandham will be at Bengaluru biting their nails for Amma’s reaction, as she appears before the Special Court in Bengaluru for the first time since the case was transferred out of Tamil Nadu in 2003.

Sources say elaborate arrangements have been made to receive Amma and keep her in good humor. Sources inside Poes garden say that Jayalalitha is at the height of her perennial temper and had even went to the extent of refusing to appear before the Bengaluru Court.   But, people close to Jaya convinced her and made it a point that any failure to appear before the Bengaluru court would mean violation of undertaking before the Supreme Court and would result in severe backlash from the courts.

Whispers doing rounds in the “Khaki circles” is that the assets case is not only a nightmare for Jaya but for the entire team of officers working in DVAC.  Officers in DVAC wait with crossed fingers fearing sever backlash it things go against Jayalilathaa.   The nervousness is not only unique to officers in DVAC but to the entire top brass in the police and bureaucracy.   Sources say an element of uncertainty hangs above all officers…anyway it depends on Jaya’s mood for the moment.

DMK sources say it was Jayalilathaa who kept on dragging this case for the past 14 years citing various reasons…and now the case is at the point of no return. However, the DVAC officials have nothing much to do… as Jayalilathaa’s fate is now in jury’s hands. If at all her anger turns against the DVAC officials… the worst can happen is issue of transfer orders and officers will be posted in places considered to be worst in police or bureaucracy.   But, as she appears in the court the mood within the Khakhi department seems to be gloomy…and the jitters’ setting in Jaya’s top echelons of power is palpable.   As the great philosopher Heraclictus said, his words, ‘There is nothing permanent except change’ is fully applicable to Amma’s rule, given her track record. 

Sources also add that most of the senior officials in the intelligence agency, including the DIG Intelligence Pon.Manickavel are camping in Bengaluru to ensure Jaya is in good humor…this is done under the guise of supervising the much hyped security arrangements.  

Well…for the day the focus will now be on Jayalilathaa’s appearance in the court as the trial against her enters its crucial phase…and from now on the Countdown for Jayalilathaa begins…