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Illegal assets case: Jaya faces crucial verdict today

Illegal assets case: Jaya faces crucial verdict today
Highlights

A Bangalore court is expected to decide on Saturday whether Tamil Nadu Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa has accumulated assets disproportionate to her known sources of income. The verdict will have a massive impact on politics in her state.

If convicted, Jaya will have to step down

Chennai: A Bangalore court is expected to decide on Saturday whether Tamil Nadu Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa has accumulated assets disproportionate to her known sources of income. The verdict will have a massive impact on politics in her state.

Meanwhile, the Supreme Court refused to entertain a plea of a lawyer seeking direction to Karnataka trial court to defer pronouncement of its verdict.

If convicted, Ms Jayalalithaa will have to step down and appoint someone in her stead. A verdict in her favour will cement her position further in Tamil Nadu, where assembly elections are due in 2016.

Ms Jayalalithaa followed up her emphatic 2011 victory in the assembly elections with a near sweep of her state in the national elections four months ago - her party won 36 of the 39 seats.

Workers of her party the AIADMK are offering elaborate prayers in hope of a verdict in her favour. Opposition parties are sitting on the edge of their seats. Ms Jayalalithaa has appeared unruffled, announcing a scheme to provide subsidised cement to the poor . The case is 18 years old; it was initiated by Ms Jayalalithaa's arch rival the DMK after her earlier term as chief minister between 1991 and 1996.

The prosecution alleges that Ms Jayalalithaa owned assets worth only Rs. 3 crore when she became the chief minister in 1991.
While in office, she took a salary of one rupee. But, it alleges, during her five-year tenure, the assets of Ms Jayalalithaa and three others who lived with her, went dramatically up to Rs. 66.6 crore.

Amma Cement for Rs.190 a bag
Chennai: The Tamil Nadu government announced a populist ‘Amma Cement Scheme’ under which it will procure cement from private manufacturers and sell them at Rs 190 per bag in the wake of possible increase in rates of the key construction component.

The erstwhile united Andhra Pradesh contributed about 4-4.5 lakh tonnes of cement for Tamil Nadu’s monthly average use of 17-18 lakh tonnes, but the companies there had now hiked the prices by Rs. 80-100 per bag, she said.

“Subsequently, the supplies to TN had reduced to around 1.5 lakh tonnes to 3 lakh tonnes, creating a favourable situation for the private manufacturers here to increase the price of cement,” she said in a statement.

Therefore, she directed officials to roll out the 'Amma Cement Scheme' aiming to benefit the lower and middle classes, wherein the Government will procure two lakh tonnes of cement from private manufacturers every month and sell them through all urban and rural local bodies at Rs. 190 per bag.

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