Jailed AIADMK Leader VK Sasikala's Husband Dies in Chennai

Cheryl Sanders
March 20, 2018

Jailed All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (AIADMK) leader VK Sasikala's husband Natarajan Maruthappa passed away on Tuesday at around 1.35 am at the Gleneagles Global hospital in Chennai.

Sasikala, however, has to remain in Thanjavur and cannot go to Chennai.

"A 15-day parole has been granted (to Sasikala) with a slew of conditions", Jail Superintendent of Parappana Agrahara Central Jail Somashekhar told PTI.

"Natarajan Maruthappa was admitted to the intensive care unit (ICU), Gleneagles Global (Hospital), on March 16 with severe chest infection", the hospital had said in a statement last week. The chief operating officer said he was on ventilator support, and in critical condition.

Sasikala had earlier been granted parole on October 7, 2017 to visit Natarajan who underwent simultaneous liver and kidney transplants. The job was handed over to Natarajan and Sasikala, being his wife, also moved to the Poes garden house.

Natarajan underwent a kidney transplant in 2017. In 1989, Jayalalithaa came under criticism for being "heavily manipulated by Natarajan", but she denied it. but Natarajan was thrown out in 1996 for trying to dominate Jayalalithaa.

It was Natarajan who had introduced Sasikala to the late Jayalalithaa, a relation that was to shape her life and career.

His body was later taken to his native village in Thanjavur district for last rites. Fall from grace Even when he was not in Jayalalithaa's good books, bureaucrats and AIADMK leaders used to turn to him during times of trouble.

She got the chance to film Jayalalithaa's events, and a bond developed. Although Sasikala and other accused were pronounced guilty, the bench chose to abate the charges levelled against Jayalalithaa due to her demise.

Natarajan was an avid Tamil activist and also ran a vernacular magazine called "Puthiya Paarvai".

Last year, after she was made AIADMK general-secretary, Sasikala dropped his name and added "VK" as prefix to revert to her maiden name.

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