Deposed All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam leader V K Sasikala's five-day parole, for visiting her husband in a hospital in Chennai, ended on Wednesday and she will return to Parappana Agrahara central jail in Bengaluru on Thursday.
She visited her husband M Natarajan, who underwent liver and kidney transplantation at a hospital in Chennai, on all five days of her parole period, including Wednesday.
According to Gleneagles Global Health City, where Natarajan, 74, underwent organ transplantations on October 4 and a tracheostomy two days later, is recovering well.
Sasikala, who was removed from the party last month by Chief Minister K Palaniswami-led camp, had arrived in Chennai on the night of October 6 to a enthusiastic albeit subdued welcome.
She has been lodged in the Parapana Agrahara central jail since February this year after the Supreme Court upheld her conviction by a special court in a disproportionate assets case.
Her relatives Ilavarasi and V N Sudhakaran are also serving four-year jail terms in the case.
Granted emergency parole from October 7 to 11, she was asked to adhere to several conditions, including a gag order on interacting with the media.
Among other conditions were a bar on involving in any political, party, public activities and being restricted to visit only to the hospital where Natarajan was admitted.
Sasikala was also asked to stay only at the residence mentioned in her parole plea and was directed not to entertain any visitors either at her residence or at the hospital.
The 60-year-old leader had been directed by the authorities to report to the Bengaluru jail on October 12 by 6 pm.
Though Sasikala avoided interacting with party leaders and functionaries in keeping with parole conditions, she was greeted on road by her supporters during all her visits to the hospital. She named newborns of party workers during her hospital visits by halting her vehicle.
Also, her vehicle used to briefly halt at a Ganesha temple in Chennai and she would offer prayers from her vehicle as Jayalaithaa used to do.
During her hospital visits, supporters hailed her as 'Thiyaga Thalaivi Chinnamma', (Younger Amma, a leader of sacrifices), showered flower petals on her car, and performed aarthi.
During her five-day parole, she stayed at the residence of Krishna Priya, daughter of her sister-in-law Ilavarasi.
Though Sasikala did not participate in any political activity, her visit to the city triggered reactions in political circles.
On October 8, Tamil Nadu minister Sellur K Raju said Sasikala had played a key role in ensuring continuance of the present AIADMK government.
"Chinamma (Sasikala) is responsible for AIADMK remaining in power... there is no second opinion about it," he had said.
While the ruling establishment did not react to his comments, the T T V Dinakaran camp said 'sleeper cells' have begun emerging and lauded him for acknowledging the role of 'Chinnamma'.
Raju later denied that he was part of sleeper cells. Sasikala's visit came at a time when her nephew T T V Dinakaran and the ruling camp led by Palaniswami and deputy Chief Minister O Panneerselvam are fighting it out to get the two leaves symbol, which was frozen by the Election Commission.
Photograph: R Senthil Kumar/PTI Photo