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24 May 2019, Edition - 1410, Friday

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Coimbatore

TN Forest Minister ‘admits’ lying to people on Jayalalithaa’s well-being and recovery

Covai Post Network

Everyone in the government and the party lied about Jayalalithaa’s health condition as there was no access to anyone to see Amma in hospital. Even central ministers could only meet Apollo hospital chief and were not allowed to meet Jayalalithaa. The TN forest minister Dindigul C Sreenivasan said only Sasikala could go inside Jayalalithaa’s room.

After the ouster of jailed AIADMK leader VK Sasikala and her nephew TTV Dinakaran from party posts, slowly people are gathering courage to corner ‘Chinnnamma’ on the issue of lies that were propagated over the health condition of former chief minister J Jayalalithaa.

Nine months after Jayalalithaa’s death last year, Tamil Nadu Forest Minister Dindigul C Sreenivasan in a damning admission said “we all told lies on the health condition of Amma when she was in the hospital,” and sought ‘forgiveness’ of the people for the lies.

“None of us saw Jayalalithaa when she was hospitalised… We were forced to lie,” Sreenivasan said at a party meeting in Madurai on Friday. Now this damning insinuation is directed against Sasikala, long time companion and her ‘soul sister’ as the minister said in a detailed admission that “We would have told lies that she (Jayalalithaa) had idlis, and that people met her. The truth is that nobody saw her.”

In fact, Deputy Chief Minister O Panneerselvam had, when he revolted against Sasikala, demanded a high level probe into the death of Jayalalithaa and his senior AIADMK leaders – former speaker PH Pandian said that her death was “not due to natural circumstances.”

Incidentally, the Edapaddi Palanisami government, after the entry of OPS as deputy chief minister, ordered a probe by a high court judge into Jayalalithaa’s death last month. The probe is yet to commence as the government has still not named the head of the probe committee and framed its terms of reference.

Sasikala, who was about to wrest the CM chair from OPS, was instead sent packing to Bengaluru jail after SC convicted her in disproportionate assets case. But before going to jail, she made Palanisami the chief minister and appointed her nephew Dinakaran as deputy general secretary of the party.

The CM has now revolted against her and joined hands with OPS instead. He has been party to ousting Sasikala and Dinakaran from the party posts, even as the big fight over Amma’s legacy continues.

The forest minister’s admissions are similar to the view expressed by OPS and his supporters. OPS had declared that he was never allowed to meet meet Jayalalithaa in hospital and had demanded an inquiry into her death.

It was not just OPS, but even high-profile visitors like AICC vice president Rahul Gandhi and the then union minister M Venkaiah Naidu were not allowed to meet her in hospital.

“All in the government and the party lied to the people,” forest minister said adding even national leaders used to sit with Apollo Hospitals Chief -Pratap C Reddy only. Only Sasikala was allowed to go inside the room of Jayalalithaa.

“We all lied then so that the party’s secret does not get leaked,” Sreenivasan said. Jayalalithaa was admitted to the hospital on September 22, 2016 and died on December 5, 2016.

He said it was only V.K.Sasikala-a close aide of Jayalalithaa for several years- who used to meet Jayalalithaa.

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