Jayalalithaa, who left her house in Chennai at around 9.10 am, looked calm and composed. Sitting behind were her close aide V K Sasikala and J Ilavarasi, who are also facing trial in the case. The other accused in the case is Jayalalithaa’s disowned foster son V N Sudhakaran.
AIADMK sources said that senior secretaries are also accompanying Jayalalithaa, while senior ministers from her cabinet have already reached Bangalore.
Meanwhile, Jayalaithaa’s supporters have started gathering at the Chief Minister’s residence in Chennai to show solidarity with the minister. Senior leaders in the party said that an adverse judgement in the case will not affect the party chief.
Security has been tightened on the borders of Tamil Nadu and Karnataka, say reports.
The police don’t want to take any chances as they don’t want a repeat of a February 2000 incident where three college students were burnt alive in Dharmapuri by AIADMK activists protesting against a special court verdict in which Jayalalithaa was sentenced to one year’s imprisonment.
In and around the Special Court at Bangalore, police have imposed prohibitory orders under Section 144 of the CrPC in the vicinity of the court “to prevent any public disorder and loss of public property”.
More than 6,000 security personnel are deployed anticipating thousands of AIADMK supporters, according to reports.
If the verdict goes against Jayalalithaa, she might step down from the Chief Minister’s post. Senior AIADMK leader and Tamil Nadu Finance Minister O Paneerselvam is then expected to take over.
On the other hand, if the court dismisses the corruption charges against Jayalalithaa, it would boost her image ahead of the 2016 assembly polls.
The case was transferred to Bangalore’s Special Court in 2003 by the Supreme Court on a petition filed by DMK leader K Anbazhagan who had expressed doubts over conduct of fair trail in Tamil Nadu as Jayalalithaa ruled the state then.