In her first statement after walking out of the Parappana Agrahara Central Prison at Bangalore yesterday, the former Chief Minister said she had been facing challenges in life for long.
"I have successfully come out of them. With your love and the grand support of the people of Tamil Nadu by my side, I am not going to be cowed down or lose heart," said Jayalalithaa, who was sentenced to four years in prison in the Rs 66.65 crore disproportionate assets case.
"My public life amounts to swimming in a sea of inferno. As your dear sister, I have realised the perils of dedicating oneself for the cause of public welfare from the day I entered politics," the 66-year-old leader said.
Recalling that her mentor and party founder MG Ramachandran had secured an assurance from her that she will dedicate herself in leading AIADMK, she said she was living by that promise.
The welfare of AIADMK and its workers, particularly the well-being of people of Tamil Nadu, were her prime goals and she continued to walk this path unmindful of the "challenges, grief and pain" she could face in this process, as "God has given me the maturity to take such pains in my stride." She assured the party workers she will meet their expectations besides continuing to work for the welfare of the people of the state.
Jayalalithaa claimed 193 persons had died due to her "present situation," (following her sentencing in the case) and expressed concern over three other persons attempting suicide. The party released the list of the 193 deceased persons, saying 139 of them died of heart attack while the rest ended their lives.
Expressing her sympathies with the families of the deceased, she announced a relief of Rs three lakh to each of them even as she said the party will provide Rs 50,000 each for the three persons towards medical treatment. She urged supporters not to take any such extreme steps and also thanked all those who had prayed for her release. After the Supreme Court granted her bail in the case, Jayalalithaa was released on bail yesterday, arriving to a grand homecoming with scores of supporters turning up to welcome her despite heavy rain.