Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam chief M Karunanidhi on Wednesday demanded that the Tamil Nadu governor explain how Chief Minister Jayalalithaa gave approval for the reallocation of her portfolios to Finance Minister O Panneerselvam given her condition. The chief minister has been in hospital since September 22, when she was admitted for fever and dehydration.
Governor Vidyasagar Rao had announced on Tuesday that all portfolios that were handled by Jayalalithaa will be temporarily held by Panneerselvam on the chief minister’s advice. Karunanidhi said, “Some people doubt whether the chief minister really signed the files for approval.”
He pointed out that the Governor, chief minister of Kerala, Union Ministers and Congress Vice President Rahul Gandhi were not allowed to see the chief minister. He also questioned the constitutional validity of the decision, reported The Hindu. Karunanidhi said, “At the same time, one cannot ignore the question whether the governor could go through all aspects of the Constitution in a short span before giving his consent for the changes.” He said there should be an interim arrangement in the state to deal with the crisis.
Pattali Makkal Katchi leader S Ramadoss echoed Karunanidhi’s doubts about the process. He said Rao must explain how she told him to take the step when she was receiving passive physiotherapy and could not move her hands and legs.
Desiya Murpokku Dravida Kazhagam leader Vijayakant chimed in for the first time, saying the government should come clean about the status of Jayalalithaa’s health. He also condemned the ruling party for persecuting those who posted about her health on the internet.
Jayalalithaa's ruling All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam, in response, called the DMK chief “illiterate”, and said he was desperate to rule the state, The Indian Express reported. Senior AIADMK leader Ponnaiyan said, “The DMK headed by Karunanidhi is always vindictive in its approach...He is illiterate, so he takes law into his hands.”
Ponnaiyan said the decision to reallocate the portfolios was taken according to Jayalalithaa’s wishes. Ponnaiyan said, “According to the Constitution of India, no acting Chief Minister can be appointed."