A day of frugal meals and visits by party faithful

For AIADMK general secretary Jayalalithaa, who is known to be an early riser, Sunday at the Parappana Agrahara prison was no different.

For AIADMK general secretary Jayalalithaa, who is known to be an early riser, Sunday at the Parappana Agrahara prison was no different.

Her first full day in jail began as early as 5.30 am. Prison officials told The Hinduthat the three-time Chief Minister asked the authorities for five newspapers — three Tamil and two English.

This was followed by her request to take a walk on the premises, which was allowed.

angry-jayalalithaSources said she refused prison breakfast. Idlis and vadas were brought from outside for her. This is allowed at the discretion of the jail superintendent under the prison manual, sources said.

Hectic activity began at around this time, when O. Panneerselvam, who was later elected leader of the AIADMK legislative party, visited Ms. Jayalalithaa along with several other leaders — Natham R. Vishwanathan, R. Vaithilingam, Edappadi K. Palaniswami and Senthil Balaji. Many of them had stayed put at the prison complex till midnight on Saturday after she was jailed in the disproportionate assets case.

Sources said issues relating to the new government formation were discussed during the meeting. As also was the future course of legal action in her case though it was not clear if all the leaders got to meet her.

A prison official said the party leaders brought a special chair for Ms. Jayalalithaa but it was seized by the authorities.

All through the day, AIADMK workers, even from as far as Kanyakumari and Tirunelveli, visited the prison complex area. Women in particular wailed and raised slogans against DMK president M. Karunanidhi. The police chased away a crowd that began to build up.

Meanwhile, a van with a Tamil Nadu registration number that was given access into the restricted area created a flutter.

Drama unfolded when Adviser to the Tamil Nadu government, Sheela Balakrishnan, made her way into the complex at around 11 a.m. While she was inside for over five hours, police officials confirmed that she was not allowed to meet Ms. Jayalalithaa as no prior permission had been taken.

Ms. Jayalalithaa took another stroll in the evening. But before that, she chatted calmly with curious inmates who were trying to interact with her since morning.

Interestingly, the AIADMK leader was given three options to choose between for prison work — incense stick rolling, tailoring and vegetable cutting. However, since she was sentenced for simple imprisonment, the work is optional.

Ms. Jayalalithaa ended her day with a simple dinner of bread, milk and apples.

T.A Narasimhan reports from Chennai:

Party sources said Ms. Jayalalithaa had an almost sleepless night.

They said Ms. Jayalalithaa was allowed to use a blanket brought from Chennai, but she was awake almost all through the night. She asked for some books.

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