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23 Oct 2018, Edition - 1197, Tuesday

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Tamilnadu News

Sasikala’s family distancing from video release issue seen as well-planned move

A.R Meyyammai

The entire Sasikala family has sought to distance itself from the release of video on Jayalalithaa’s hospitalisation by disqualified MLA P.Vetrivel that has created quite a stir in political circles.

Contrary to reports claiming that the family remains divided about the video release, citing the press meets of Sasikala’s niece J.Krishnapriya (eldest daughter of J.Ilavarasai, sister-in-law of Sasikala and co-convict in the disproportionate assets case) and her cousin Jeyanandh Dhivaharan, it may be noted that both did not criticise TTV.Dhinakaran (their aunt’s son), though they had different views about Vetrivel’s move.

Vetrivel himself played his cards safe saying at the very beginning of the press conference on Wednesday, when he released the video at the secretariat, that Dhinakaran had no role to play and was not even aware of this act of his.

Krishnapriya, who first took to the social media to criticise Vetrivel, later told the media persons gathered outside her residence that by releasing the video, he had betrayed Sasikala. She wondered how the video given to Dhinakaran by Sasikala to be submitted to the inquiry commission constituted by the state government if necessary landed in Vetrivel’s hands and mildly said Dhinakaran should take action against him.

She said she could not imagine how this act would have hurt her aunt Sasikala who is in jail now. “Sasikala was very much concerned about keeping Amma’s image intact and hence did not want anyone to see her in such a state (in the hospital),” she said, adding she could have released the video herself when she was slandered by some as a murderer.

On the contrary, Jeyanandh, son of Sasikala’s younger brother Dhivaharan, defended Vetrivel saying it was an act of loyalty to Sasikala. He too feigned ignorance about the MLA’s decision to release the controversial 20-seconds video which shows Jayalalithaa lying on hospital bed in night gown and sipping juice and watching TV.

But both the cousins have driven home a point – that the video is authentic, but was released without the knowledge of Sasikala and her family.

“The claims they have been making that the video release had happened without their knowledge is not believable, but at the same time the Election Commission’s gag on the media to show the video is also unwarranted. It looks like a well-planned move given the timing of the release, that is a day ahead of the high-voltage RK Nagar by-poll in which Dhinakaran is contesting as an independent. Sasikala’s family does not want to be directly involved in the issue to send across a message that they have been protecting Jayalalithaa’s privacy as a patient and probity in public life,” says a political analyst.

A leader in the Dhinakaran faction wonders why those in the EPS-OPS camp were seeing it as a political conspiracy when the video is said to have been taken when all of them remained as one unit. “The video only shows the former CM on the path to recovery. Why should they feel annoyed when there is nothing objectionable in it. Though the question of ethics is raised by some quarters, it should be kept in mind that her death has created a lot of controversies and unanswered questions,”he said.

Meanwhile, Dhinakaran is expected to give his comments about the video release on Thursday evening, after voting in RK Nagar comes to an end.

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