Beleaguered AIADMK chief Sasikala’s husband Natarajan Maruthappa died at a hospital in Chennai on the wee hours of Tuesday (Mar 20, 2018). Natarajan breathed his last at around 1.35 AM due to severe chest infection. He was 74. He was admitted into hospital on March 16 with severe chest infection and his condition was “critical” since then. He was on ventilator.
He had a condition where his liver and kidney were failing and had a lung congestion. After been on a transplant waitlist from April 2017, he underwent a life-saving double organ transplant (liver and kidney transplant) surgery in October 2017. He also underwent Tracheostomy in Oct and was later discharged after recovering.
Sasikala aka Chinnamma was jailed in Bengaluru Central prison and serving her 4-year jail term after she was convicted in disproportionate assets case. She came out on a parole for 15 days to visit her critically ill husband Natarajan. Sasikala was married to Natarajan for 33 years. He was the first to have introduced Sasikala to former Tamil Nadu Chief Minister, Ms Jayalalithaa.
A former government public relations officer, Natarajan was the man who had repeatedly claimed ‘I made Jayalalithaa Chief Minister’. He was the power centre when Jaya first became the CM. He along with his wife Sasikala used to stay along with Jayalalithaa in her house. Allegations were rife that Jayalalithaa was ‘heavily influenced by Natarajan’, but she denied it. Later Natarajan was thrown out in 1996 for trying to dominate Jayalalithaa. Jaya had described Sasikala as her ‘sister’ and Natarajan ‘happened to be her husband’.
Jaya expelled Natarajan, Dinakaran from AIADMK and her Poes Garden home. Jaya had accused them of working against her interests. However, Jayalalithaa let VK Sasikala back on her side on the condition that Sasikala would end all ties with her family, including with husband Natarajan.
Later, Sasikala dropped her husband’s name last year and added the prefix VK to revert to her maiden name, soon after she was appointed general secretary of the AIADMK. Following Jaya’s death, things moved out of Sasikala’s hands and all her efforts to gain grip on party, government turned futile. When she was planning to elevate herself as the Chief Minister, Sasikala was convicted in DA case and jailed for 4 years.