December 20, 2017
With just a day to go for RK Nagar bypoll, a crucial 20-seconds video showing AIADMK supremo Jayalalithaa’s health condition was released by MLA P.Vetrivel, a staunch supporter of TTV Dinakaran, on Wednesday. Vetrivel also said more such video clips on the former Chief Minister would be released to “expose the claims and accusations of OPS-EPS camp on Jayalalithaa’s health and her demise.” This has created a stir in political circles and kicked off a hot debate in Tamil Nadu.
Putting an end to speculations and various theories surrounding the former CM’s hospitalisation and death thereafter, the first video has been released almost a year after Jayalalithaa’s demise.
Amidst allegations that huge money has been being pumped into RK Nagar and distributed to voters by the ruling AIADMK in the constituency, which is going to polls – necessitated by the death of Jayalalithaa, the Dinakaran camp has come out in public with the video. Dinakaran is contesting as an independent in RK Nagar, while EPS-OPS camp has fielded party senior Madhusudhanan.
The video running for 20 seconds shows Jayalalithaa lying on a bed in night dress and sipping juice with a straw from a covered disposable cup and presumably watching TV. Vetrivel, who vacated his RK Nagar seat, to help Jayalalithaa contest from the constituency in Chennai, told media persons that all possible attempts were made to prevent him from releasing the video and to be on the safer side, he had given a copy of it with another person too.
He said the 20-seconds video was shot by Sasikala herself. The Sasikala family has been repeatedly saying that they were in possession of videos of Jayalalithaa’s hospitalisation but did not want to release them in order to protect her privacy and dignity.
Vetrivel said both the Chief Minister Edappadi Palaniswami and Deputy CM O.Panneerselvam were very much in the know of things about Jayalalithaa’s health during her hospitalisation in the Apollo Hospitals in Chennai. Claiming that they too have the video, he said he released it to scotch rumours and hearsay surrounding her death.
It may be noted that many ministers, including Dindigul Seenivasan and Sellur K Raju, have been claiming that they did not see Jayalalithaa in the hospital and they were confined to the first floor. Panneerselvam too had raised doubts about her death.
“Despite having the video, the EPS-OPS camp instituted Arumugasamy commission to probe Jayalalithaa’s death,” Vetrivel told media persons.
Vetrivel said the video clips were given to him and Dinakaran by Sasikala and more footages would be released subsequently. Denying that it was released to coincide with the RK Nagar by-election, he said he did not want Jayalalithaa’s image to be tarnished.
Reacting to TN Chief Electoral Officer Rajesh Lakhani’s statement that releasing the video amounted to poll code violation, Vetrivel asked what the Election Commission did to prevent alleged distribution of cash to voters.
On Tuesday, Vivek Jayaraman, CEO of Jaya TV, issued a statement warning that legal action would be initiated against those spreading canards about her private life. He said they remained quiet and patient about such things spoken by a few maligning her image under the impression that it would subside with time. “But even a year after her death, some claim to be her daughter and tarnish the image of a great leader. This is an indigestible act,”Vivek said.