Senior All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam leader PH Pandian on Tuesday alleged that former Tamil Nadu chief minister J Jayalalithaa had not died after a cardiac arrest as her doctors have claimed, but that she “collapsed after she was pushed” in her Poes Garden home in Chennai. While addressing a press conference in the city, he claimed that Jayalalithaa was taken to the hospital only to avoid suspicion.
Pandian, a former deputy speaker of the Tamil Nadu Assembly, has also demanded an investigation into who was present at Jayalalithaa’s house on the night of September 22 when she was taken to Chennai’s Apollo Hospital. “Jaya’s death was unnatural,” he said.
The veteran leader further alleged that AIADMK General Secretary VK Sasikala was “not even grieving” when Jayalalithaa was pronounced dead a day after suffering a cardiac arrest on December 5. Pandian also asked that Sasikala’s conduct before and after Jayalalithaa’s death be investigated.
“Sasikala is unfit to become the party chief and Tamil Nadu chief minister,” Pandian said at the press meet, adding that she does not have the qualities to lead the party or the state. “It is because of the blessings of late Tamil Nadu chief ministers Jayalalithaa and MG Ramachandran that Sasikala’s swearing-in ceremony did not take place,” he said.
PH Pandian also questioned why the Tamil Nadu government had revealed the details of her death to the press when the matter was still in court. On Monday, Dr Richard Beale, who was flown down from the United Kingdom to treat Jayalalithaa at Apollo Hospital, had said she had died of multiple organ failure and a sudden cardiac arrest. “There was no conspiracy,” Dr Beale had said at a press conference.
Another AIADMK leader at the press meet, Manoj Pandian, claimed that Jayalalithaa had once told her that she did not want Sasikala to become the next chief minister.
Jayalalithaa died on December 5, a day after she suffered cardiac arrest. She had been admitted to Chennai’s Apollo Hospital for 75 days, after which O Panneerselvam had taken over as the chief minister of Tamil Nadu.
On Sunday, the party announced that Sasikala would take over as chief minister. Panneerselvam resigned the same day. There were reports suggesting that Sasikala would be sworn in on Tuesday, but there is no clarity on when the transition will take place. Governor Vidyasagar Rao is also reportedly consulting lawyers regarding a verdict in a disproportionate assets case Sasikala is involved in. A plea had been filed in court asking for a stay on Sasikala’s swearing-in till the verdict is out.