Monday, 19 December 2011

Sasikala : A failed Coup d'état ?

No. 2 to No.1 ? A friend turned foe ?

TN Chief Minister J Jayalilathaa’s decision to expel Sasikala and her clan in the party has hit headlines…its now an international headline and a trending topic on social networking sites like twitter and Facebook.


This is what the BBC has reported

“The chief minister of the southern Indian state of Tamil Nadu has expelled her close aide VK Sasikala, her husband M Natarajan and 10 others from her AIADMK party. J Jayalalitha announced the expulsions in a brief statement and told her party not to conduct any relations with the expelled members. Correspondents say the action against Ms Sasikala is drastic. She has enjoyed the absolute confidence of Ms Jayalalitha for many decades.”

The ongoing fued between J Jayalilathaa and Sasikala has been continuously reported in Whispers in Tamil Nadu…

Even before any other media could report on this ongoing feud between Jayalalitha and Sasikala whispers in tamilnadu was the first one to predict the endgame for the Mannargudi Mafia.

Now, with Jayalilathaa formally announcing her decision to sack Sasikala who heads the Mannargudi Mafia from Poes Garden…whispers doing rounds in inside Poes Garden is that, it’s the result of Amma’s anger to nip a Coup d'état in the bud.   Sources tell whispers that M.Natarajan, husband of Sasikala was engineering this Coup d'état ever since the disproportionate assets case against Jayalilathaa entered its crucial stage.


Sasikala who got acquainted with Jayalalitha in the early eighties remained a trusted confidante of Jayalalitha, even in difficult times. For their friendship, Sasikala even ditched her husband Natarajan and moved in to Poes Garden.    In spite of numerous complaints against Sasikala and her coterie, Jayalalitha chose to keep mum and defend her aide.


Even before Jaya took charge as the Chief Minister, Sasikala & CO was calling the shots…be it party affairs from Candidate selection to officer’s appointment.  Sasikala was identified as CM : 2 in bureaucratic circles…as that was the best way to get plum posts and money was the only language that is better understood.   This virtual usurping of power by Sasikala gave the guts to her husband and relatives – M.Natarjan, M.Ramachandran, MIDAS Mohan, Ravanan, etc.   These coterie started calling the shots and planted their officers of their choice like T.Rajendran,IPS,  Paneerselvam, a retired IAS officer, Pon.Manickavel,IPS and recently Thamaraikannan in key positions like intelligence and planning and coordination so that to keep a tab on the functioning of the government. 


This cartel started running a parallel administration even before the swearing in ceremony.  Officers and businessmen who want to curry favours crawled before this cartel.   As soon as the government was sworn in, Natarajan’s Besant Nagar residence was buzzing with activity with a steady flow of visitors from IAS and IPS circles.    This cartel also went on a collection spree and started threatening businessmen and contractors no matter how big or small they are.   Sand quarrying was a golden goose with which this cartel was minting money.    Though information about these corrupt activities were doing the rounds, Jayalalitha’s concentration was diverted to the assets case against her in Bengaluru.  MM cartel’s activities continued so much so that during the recent DVAC raids conducted at the residences of TNPSC members…along with many recommendation letters in the letterheads of DMK leaders,  some letterheads of the MM cartel was also seized and that was used as a defence by the Chairman and Members of the TNPSC that they were also loyal to Sasikala, whom they term as CM.2.


Meanwhile the MM cartel was hatching plans expecting a conviction for Jayalalitiha in the assets case. M.Natarajan, who was the mastermind behind this operation, was in touch with Ministers, Police Officers and bureaucrats to ensure everything goes on well according to plan.


Jayalalitha first came to know about the web of conspiracy around her when she learnt about a secret meeting conducted by Sasikala’s husband M.Natarajan in which the then ADGP Intelligence T.Rajendran was asked to identify people loyal to MM cartel.  It is reported that Natarajan had discussed in the meeting about his Chief Ministerial ambitions in the event of Jayalalitha getting convicted in assets case. When this news reached Jayalalitha, she booted out T.Rajendran, but Sasikala managed to bring in another loyalist in the place of T.Rajendran – Pon.Manickavel.   Pon.Manickavel for his part remained loyal to M.Natarajan than to Chief Minister, say DGP office sources.  Pon.Manickavel started controlling the police force and on the instigation of M.Natarajan, ensured that people belonging to the powerful and influential community alone are given key tasks in the intelligence wing.   Simultaneously another police officer of the same community – Sivanandi, IPS also started pulling his strings with both Sasikala and Natarajan to become I.G., Intelligence.  What angered Amma was the MM cartel's extended meeting that happened in Banglore recently when Sasikala was there to depose before the special court. Whispers doing rounds is that the meeting was attended by all the key members of MM cartel including M Natarajan...that is when the MM cartel gave final touches to their conspiracy against Jayalilathaa and to capture power in the State. However, the state intelligence got a tip off and the MM cartels attempts for a Coup d'état was successfully defeated. Sasikala and her team of bandits were booted out of Poes Garden after a session of through paper work. 


Though the media has lapped up the news of Sasikala’s expulsion, political leaders are very sceptical about the move by Jayalalitha as they feel that it is a well crafted drama enacted to distance herself from Sasikala as there are possibilities of a certain conviction in the assets case.  


On the other hand businessmen and industrialists who were pushed to a corner by the MM cartel were left to fend for themselves.  Schemes and basic works could not be carried out due to the interference of the MM cartel as at least 20 percent commission was high on the agenda.


Political analysts and well wishers of Jayalalitha and a couple of senior Editors and industrialists chose who were stunned by this parallel government decided to put an end to this ongoing menace….but who will bell the cat? Well finally Cho Ramaswamy was approached by this powerful lobby…Whispers doing rounds in Poes Garden Circles is that Cho Ramasamy met Amma last week and narrated the tale of woes.   Sources tell whispers that Cho Ramaswamy gave Jayalalitha a complete picture of what is happening in the state and advised her to stay away from Sasikala if she wants to enter the national canvass.    Citing that parliamentary elections are just 2 years away, her continuous association with Sasikala and the MM cartel would spell doom for her.  Cho Ramaswamy, who is seen on television screens as the authority on Tamil Nadu politics has curiously denied to make any comment on this important political development in the corridors of power.


However, the state intelligence on its part has filed a detailed report to Jayalalitha listing out the names of Police Officers, Bureaucrats, Ministers, and other lobbyists who were acting as agents of the MM cartel.  Whispers doing the rounds in the corridors of Fort.St.George and DGP office is that a major shake up is expected based on the intelligence inputs. 


Meanwhile a rattled MM cartel is now running for cover and trying to cover their tracks.   Ever since the news broke about Sasikala’s expulsion from the party, Sasikala’s loyalists including her husband M.Natarajan have switched of their mobile phones and remain incommunicado.  Sources close to M.Natarajan say that he might go abroad to avoid any legal actions by Amma.  M.Natarajan is also in a deep trouble as he is in huge debt to various industrialists and officers from who m he had collected crores of rupees by promising to deliver plum posts and projects from the state government.


In the meantime, fearing reprisals from Amma, the MM cartel is in a huddle and trying to cover their tracks by erasing crucial evidences. People who had gained through the MM cartel are also in jitters fearing reprisal from Amma.


In a swift move, Jayalalitha appears to have achieved what she wanted by sending a strong message that - She means business and she is the BOSS.

Political analysts who take these developments with a pinch of salt say Amma’s drastic actions will have any meaning only if the MM cartel is brought to book for their nefarious activities. 

Good riddance : Jayalalitha expels Sasikala and her band of bandits.

The feud between Jayalalitha and her long time aide Sasikala has reached a flash point.   Jayalalitha had announced expulsion of Sasikala, her husband M.Natarajan, his brother M.Ramachandran, Diwakaran, Sudakaran, S.Venkatesh, MIDAS Mohan, Ravanan, Kulothungan and Rajarajan have been expelled from primary membership of AIADMK.  

Jayalalitha has also announced that party people should not have any contacts with those who have been expelled and those who have contacts would face severe action.

Ahead of any other media, it was in these columns we broke the end game of the Mannargudi mafia.,  

also some of Chinnamma operations that we reported...

Poes Garden insiders say that the entire Mannargudi Mafia in the party, bureaucracy and police circles is rattled after Amma took this extreme step of chucking out her close confidant...

Whispers doing rounds in the corridors of Fort St George and DGP office is that...a comprehensive list has been prepared on Sasikala & Co loyalists in TN Cabinet, IAS and IPS circles...and very soon many will be shown the door. This is expected to happen before the party's General Council which is scheduled at the end of this month...  

Keep watching these columns for a comprehensive report on the reason behind Sasikala & Co's expulsion from AIADMK.

“Clean up Jaya TV” : Jaya's next operation.

After cracking the against Mannargudi Mafia cartel, Amma is all set to divert her attention towards Jaya TV...this is the latest whispers doing rounds inside AIADMK's mouth piece Jaya TV.  Jayalalitha, who is not so keen on the affairs of Jaya TV had entrusted the entire administration to Ms.Anuradha, wife of TTV.Dinakaran. But what's wrong with Jaya TV? Amma has decided to clean up the party's main propaganda tool following serious complaints about loss of revenue and misappropriation of funds by senior authorities who are running the show...

Jaya TV, which was never competent in matters of professionalism be it news or was always   lagging far behind on its contemporaries, making it  quite obvious that it has no intention to compete. Ever since its inception 14 years ago...several things have changed but one thing that has successfully defeated Karl Marx's theory of "change" is the channel's revenue...for the past 14 years it remains at Rs.4 crores a month - Not a penny more, not a penny less...One wonders how this figure has neither decreased nor increased from the channel’s inception in 1999. So that brings us to our next question...What's rotten in Jaya TV? 

In the year 2000... Jaya TV was the only channel, at present its a network, which has two additional channels Jaya Max and Jaya matter its one channel or 3 the earnings remains the same - 4 crores a month, say insiders. Now whispers doing rounds is that Amma’s secret investigation into the affairs of Jaya TV has revealed shocking details.  Jaya TV has been a money making cow for a few top authorities. One among them is Bala Swaminathan, who is the present Vice President (Marketing) in Jaya TV...sources say he heads the cartel, which systematically siphons of Jaya TV revenue.  Insiders in Jaya TV feel, it was Bala Swaminathan who continuously wins JACKPOT !!!
Bala Swaminathan
Bala Swaminathan, who was working with the Vikatan group, joined Jaya TV in the year 1999 as marketing head and since then he continues to be the marketing head...Sources say Bala who started his career in Jaya TV with a modest salary of 45,000 per month is now receiving Rs.1,90,000/- per month.   

TTV Dinakaran, who was initially handling the affairs of Jaya TV had kept Bala Swaminathan in check.  But as soon as Dinakaran’s wife Anuradha donned the mantle, it was a free run for Bala Swaminathan.  Anuradha, who is new to the nuances of administration was taken for a ride by Bala, say Jaya TV insiders. Jaya TV’s major revenue is in the form of advertisements of which half of the advertisements are from major players like Procter & Gamble, Hindustan Unilever, and other major companies etc.  These MNCs have their own advertising agency and maintain a clean slate.   But Bala devised a clever plan to rake in the moolah in the remaining half advertisements, which are offered to the channel by small players. 

Bala Swaminathan, who is a sly operator started an advertising agency named “Bala Ads”!!! and since then it became an unwritten rule that all advertisements are routed through his agency, so that entire advertisements which comes through the so called ‘proper channel’ goes to Jaya TV and the commission to his secret coffers say advertising agency sources.  The advertising agency Bala Ads, neither has an office, nor a single staff.  The AD agency functions from his home and the rule is 15 percent commission.

Bala Swaminathan, who was in a rented house for Rs.2000 in the year 1999, at the time of joining Jaya TV now owns a palatial flat in the paradise of the rich – and now he is TN Chief Minister - AIADMK Chief  & Jaya TV owner J Jayalilathaa’s neighbor at Poes Garden.

Around an year back, Jayalalitha got wind of the loot in Jaya TV and the lackluster performance of Anuradha and decided to shakeup the administration. Sources say after hearing about Jayalalitha’s plans, Bala got jittery that Amma would find out his loot and developed cold feet.  Though Jayalalitha subsequently dropped her plans to shakeup the administration, a clever Bala Swaminathan, brought Raghu, Vaithy, Soori and Jayachandran from Vikatan who are his yesmen, just to start a few more so called advertising agencies – namely Raghu Ads, Vaithy Ads, etc. This was an attempt to have his iron clad over Jaya TV, so that the loot continued unabated.

Besides raking in the moolah in advertisements department...Jaya Tv sources say Bala Swaminathan is also in tie up with Subashree Thanikachalam.  Subashree Thanikachalam, a visual communication graduate claims herself to be an expert in producing music related programs.   For the past five years, Subashree is continuously given prime slots based on a secret understanding with Bala. Jaya TV sources say recently Subashree Thanikachalam went on a tour to Cleveland, USA under the guise of producing music program.   However, the expenses for the trip including crew was borne by the Tamil Sangam organization in Cleveland.  But Bala Swaminathan sanctioned Rs.20 lakhs from Jaya TV for the trip and got back a sizable share for himself, say sources.

After Subashree returned to India, the program shot in Cleveland which contained US Tamils singing, was shown on Jaya TV with reputed firms as sponsors.   Bala Swaminathan went on a sabbatical tour to London and Paris – courtesy Subashree, say insiders. Even though the overall revenue of Jaya TV has not increased over the time, the entire slots in Jaya Plus are filled with real estate advertisements and programs which gloat about magical medical treatments rule the roost in Jaya Plus with the blessings of Bala Swaminathan, who receives a huge cut in the revenue say AD agency sources.

Kalaignar TV which is struggling for its involvement in the 2G scam appears to be far better than Jaya TV and Sun TV, Sun news known for its so called unbiased news and professionalism is doing a commendable job.  But Jaya TV which is considered as the most powerful propaganda tool by Jayalilathaa is no more considered to be peoples channel as it claims. This was quite obvious when TN Chief Minister J Jayalilathaa preferred to reach out to the people through a televised speech on Jaya TV while increasing bus fare and milk prices. She wanted to make an emotional appeal to justify that the state is bankrupt and that has forced her to take a decision to this effect...but except a party men, govt officials, bureaucrats and Journalists, by and large the people were unaware about the facts as her emotional plea failed to strike a chord with the people. Thanks to the able administration of Bala Swaminathan and Madam Anuradha.


But where do Anuradha stands with regard to Bala Swaminathan’s activities ?    It was Anuradha who inaugurated Bala Swaminathan’s “Bala Ads”. Whispers in Tamil Nadu has already reported on Anuradha's latest antics. 

Whispers doing rounds in Poes Garden circles is that Amma has made up her mind to do a complete clean up of Jaya TV and spruce up the channel and make it professional. 

If this was the condition on the administration side...the news department headed by K.P.Sunil, Vice President (news) and Editor Thillai is yet to wake up from its deep slumber. Sources inside Jaya TV say the news department lacks motivation and clarity. Industry sources say the Jaya TV news failed to create any ripples in Tamil Nadu political circles when Amma was in the after becoming the Chief Minister the news output by and large remains the same. 

K P Sunil, was asked to go on leave following his goof up in the telecast of Amma’s all important price hike announcement...Now he is given a second chance by Amma.   Sunil was taken to task by Amma for his failure to telecast Jaya’s televised address on scheduled time. After a brief hiatus, Sunil has been given a lifer and has been instructed to pull up his socks and deliver a better performance. Well its an indirect message to Editor Thillai...who is often seen as a man who only wants to ensure that Jayalilathaa's statements are reported in the bulletins without excluding a single sentence or word. 

Whispers doing rounds in AIADMK circles is that...Jaya TV news bulletins are only filled with Amma's statements and developments like arrest of DMK leaders and DVAC raids are given less importance. Sources in the party say that local party functionaries expect in-depth coverage of raids and arrests of DMK leaders, so that they can score brownie points at a time when their political rivals are being brought to book for their corrupt activities...However, they compliment Kalaignar TV for building up momentum and maintaining it till date.  

Whether Amma’s shake up of the management of Jaya TV from its deep slumber would stem the rot remains to be seen.