66-year old Jayalalithaa may have formally stepped down as Chief Minister following her automatic disqualification as an MLA owing to her sentence, but she is expected to fightback as has been in the past.
The average AIADMK supporter is more than confident that 'Amma' (Mother), as she is called by her followers, will bounce back and take the party to greater heights in the 2016 Assembly polls.
The political juggernaut called Jayalalithaa, unrivaled in elections held in the state since AIADMK's landslide victory in 2011 polls, came to an abrupt halt on Saturday as the special court in Bangalore convicted her in the Rs 66.65 crore assets case and sentenced her to four years imprisonment, that immediately disqualified her from being an MLA.
The sudden political development has given a ray of hope to Jayalalithaa's rivals, who expect to put up a better show, if not rout the ruling AIADMK in the next elections. The flight of Jayalalithaa's supremacy may have descended for now with the verdict, but her avid supporters are confident the 'Iron Lady' will be back in contention soon.
However, the three-time Chief Minister may not be able to contest elections for ten years -- four in prison and six thereafter -- unless she gets the special court verdict overturned by a higher court swiftly.