Chennai: Tamil Nadu Chief Minister, O Paneerselvam today urged Jayalalithaa's supporters to stay calm, after they went berserk on hearing the news of the Karnataka High Court rejecting her bail plea.
“Keeping calm is the only way to express love for Jayalalithaa,” said O Panneerselvam.
Jayalalithaa was imprisoned late last month after being found guilty of corruption. Her request for bail was turned down today by the High Court in Karnataka, where the case was transferred in 2001 upon the orders of the Supreme Court to ensure the trial would not be influenced by her stature in Tamil Nadu.
Jayalalithaa's arrest last month triggered huge street protests by AIADMK workers; many of them targeted the offices and homes of top leaders of political rival DMK, which pursued the case against her over the last 18 years. Buses were set on fire when she was arrested, triggering a review of the law and order arrangements across the state by the Governor and other top officials
Her conviction forced an abrupt end to her third term as Chief Minister - the Supreme Court ruled last year that any law-maker found guilty of serious criminal charges stands immediately disqualified from office. Her conviction is based on the wealth she allegedly accumulated during her first stint as chief minister from 1991 to 1996.
“Do not indulge in strikes and shutting down places,” said Panneerselvam, the new Chief Minister, who wept during his swearing-in ceremony.