Mysore: Despite being alienated and disowned by Tamil Nadu Chief Minister Jayalalithaa, her elder brother N.J. Vasudevan on Saturday expressed shock over the conviction and sentencing of Ms Jayalalithaa by a special court in Bengaluru in an 18-year-old disproportionate assets case.
Living in a tiny village of Sri Rangarajapura, 40 km from T. Narasipur taluk of Mysore district, the 78-year-old Vasudevan was glued to the television set from morning watching the developments in the corruption case.
When Deccan Chronicle visited his residence, Mr Vasuden was seen praying for acquittal of Ms Jayalalithaa. But as the court pronounced her guilty in the afternoon, he got emotional and felt sorry. “She didn’t deserve this. Though we don’t enjoy the cordial relationship of a brother and sister, I was happy seeing her good work in Tamil Nadu which earned her the name Amma. But everyone has to respect the court verdict and the rule of law is same for everyone. Definitely, it’s a setback for her political career,” he said.
Mr Vasudevan is Ms Jayalalithaa’s step brother. Their father was married to Jayamma, who was Mr Vasudevan’s mother, and Sandhya, who was Ms Jayalalithaa’s mother. Ms Jayalalithaa has two siblings Ms Shailaja and Mr Jayakumar. Ms Shailaja lives in Bengaluru, while the whereabouts of Mr Jayakumar are not known. Mr Vasudevan’s grandfather N. Rangachar was a Mysore Palace doctor during the reign of Krishnaraja Wadiyar IV.
Mr Vasudevan claimed that some of the jewels confiscated from Ms Jayalalithaa in the disproportionate case were those gifted by Krishnaraja Wadiyar during his mother’s wedding.
Though Mr Vasudevan and Ms Shailaja tried to build bridges with her, Ms Jayalalithaa refused to entertain them, despite knowing the struggles they were going through to earn their livelihoods. When they went public with their relationship, Ms Jayalalithaa filed a defamation case against them in a Madras sessions court.
Mr Vasudevan is a heart patient and has been living on a meagre Rs 400 monthly pension given by the Karnataka government. He lost his son in an accident and his wife also died a few years ago. He lives in a tiny house all alone is helped by local villagers. “I spoke to media thinking my sister would know about my plight and offer help, but she filed defamation case. Still, she is my sister and I didn’t want her to land in jail. Ms Jayalalithaa was facing a dozen such cases and she got acquitted in all, except this,” he said.