Jayalalithaa accused the Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (DMK) of trying to defame and malign her image to put an end to her political career. "DMK didn't win electorally so they tried to put an end to my career through other ways, finally justice has prevailed. I recall with sorrow the demise of 233 party cadres, who lost their lives after a Special Court delivered its verdict on my sentence," said Jayalalithaa in a statement.

"It's a victory for justice and defeat for those who had conspired to defame and malign my legacy and the legacy of my mentor. I don't take it as a victory for me, but a victory for truth and victory for the people of Tamil Nadu. I thank the people of Tamil Nadu for reposing faith in me and I thank God for the gift of people's love," she added.

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Jayalalithaa's acquittal is a major setback to the opposition DMK and is expected to swing political fortunes in favour of the ruling AIADMK in Tamil Nadu, which goes to assembly polls in 2016. It's a shot in the arm for Jayalalithaa, who in the face of her conviction in September, 2014, had vowed to fight the situation legally and come out clean in what threatened to be a sudden dead-end of an otherwise successful political career.

A trial court had on September 27 last year verdict sentenced Jayalalithaa and three others to four years in jail and imposed a hefty fine of Rs 100 crore on her and Rs 10 crore each on three others.

Also Read: DA case: Karnataka HC sets aside trial court verdict, acquits Jayalalithaa of all charges

Earlier, the TANSI case in 2001 had derailed her for a brief period after the Supreme Court struck down her appointment before she won her case legally and also was successful in a by-poll to lead the state.

However, this time it would not have been easy for the charismatic yesteryear actress, with a new Central legislation in place to disqualify elected representatives from contesting in elections.

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