September 27, 2017
Chief Minister Edapaddi Palanisami is perturbed over the discordant and contradictory statements his ministers were making on such a sensitive issue as Jayalalithaa’s hospitalization and her subsequent death after prolonged illness at Apollo Hospital last December.
After different ministers contradicting each other on the issue, which is now the subject matter of a judicial probe headed by Mr Justice A Arumughaswamy, chief minister directed all the ministers to maintain silence over the issue even as he appointed official spokespersons for the government.
After forest minister Dindigul Dindigul Sreenivasan blasted the Mannargudi family of manipulating Jayalalithaa’s treatment and controlling access to her inside hospital, two other ministers contradicted him to declare that “we ministers saw Jayalalithaa in hospital.”
On Tuesday, cooeration minister Sellur K Raju told media persons that all the ministers saw Jayalalithaa when she was undergoing treatment at Apollo. Another minister, Nilofer Kafeel too asserted that she had seen Jayalalithaa in conscious state when she was being wheeled out from the ICU to her private room.
But forest minister Sreenivasan was very clear in his assertion at a public rally in Madurai, held last week, where he sought apology from the people for lying on the issue of Jayalalithaa’s health.
“We all had lied on seeing Jayalalithaa in hospital and telling people that she was having idlis for breakfast,” he said adding people in party and government also lied to the people. Everyone lied about meeting Jayalalithaa.”
Forest minister was backed by another minister, tourism minister VM Natarajan who said Sasikala did not allow anyone to meet Jayalalithaa or even see her. “We could only see her body being brought out on December 4.”
Now, this only meant one thing – a full blown war against Sasikala and her clan from Messers OPS and EPS, who are trying to reclaim the party from the hands of the Mannargudi family. Already, they are thinking of ways and means to persuade Election Commission that they were the real AIADMK and after merger their symbol of two leaves be allotted to them.
The idea is to discredit Mannargudi mafia and hold it guilty of wrong doing in the treatment of Jayalalithaa, something that the people used to talk about in hushed tones. Officially, the Apollo Hospital declared that they had given the former chief minister the best possible medical treatement and that she had died due to multiple organ failure.
Rebel leader TTV Dinakaran countered the allegations and insinuations asserting that he had a video of Jayalalithaa sitting and watching television news in the hospital room. The viedo, he claimed, was shot by Sasikala herself on the wishes of Amma.
He said he would hand over the video to any probe panel if it so demanded, in the interests of justice.
Incidentally, deputy chief minister O Panneerselvam had made a probe into Jayalalithaa’s death as the most important pre-condition for merging his breakaway unit with AIADMK led by EPS. Soon after the merger, EPS announced a probe panel and he named a judge to head it last week.
While the AIADMK is thus engaged in internal factional fight to gain supremacy in the party, the opposition DMK wants a CBI probe to reveal the plot to the people of the state. DMK working president MK Stalin said that his father M Kaurnanidhi had demanded a white paper on the health of Jayalalithaa, long before she was hospitalized.