Tamil Nadu’s senior-most bureaucrat and two influential ministers rushed to Raj Bhavan on Friday to brief the governor about the state’s general administration in the absence of chief minister J Jayalalithaa, who is recuperating from an ailment for the past fortnight.
Acting governor Vidya Sagar Rao met chief secretary P Rama Mohana Rao, finance minister O Panneerselvam and PWD minister Edapadi Palanisamy after doctors treating the chief minister at Apollo hospitals said her treatment would continue for some more days.
Jayalalithaa, the 68-year-old former matinee star, was admitted to Apollo hospitals on September 22 after she complained of fever and dehydration.
As her discharge from hospital could take a longer time than anticipated, the governor convened Friday’s meetings to know how the state was functioning without the chief minister at a time crucial issues such as the Cauvery water-sharing row was bubbling up with neighbouring Karnataka.
Karnataka had yielded to a Supreme Court order to release water to Tamil Nadu, after much delay as its neighbour wanted the water to save its paddy crop. A Centre-appointed technical committee on Cauvery is due to visit Tamil Nadu, and the governor sought to know what information will be provided to the panel to protect the farmers.
Also, a Raj Bhavan statement said the governor “enquired about the general administration of the affairs of the government”.
The chief secretary, who met the governor in the afternoon for 35 minutes, briefed him about the day-to-day functioning of the government.
In the evening, he accompanied the two ministers for another round of discussion that lasted 20 minutes. A Raj Bhavan release said the governor also enquired about the chief minister’s health.
Later, the chief secretary and the ministers went to Apollo hospitals, where most members of the Jayalalithaa government and her AIADMK party were present.
The AIADMK put to rest all speculation about the health of Jayalalithaa, endearingly called Amma by her legions of supporters, many of whom have committed suicide, cut their fingers or tonsured their heads whenever she faced any trouble in the past.
As her supporters held a vigil outside the hospital, the party said a detailed medical bulletin put an end to questions about the treatment provided to the leader and was confident she will return home soon.
Party spokesperson CR Saraswathi said people were eager to know and Apollo hospitals answered them in a statement. She also thanked Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi for noting that “Jayalalithaa is improving”.
Earlier in the day, Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi called on Jayalalithaa at the hospital.
“She is going to be all right,” Gandhi told mediapersons after spending nearly 40 minutes inside the medical institution. He also interacted with doctors attending to the AIADMK chief, popularly known as Amma.
“I came from Delhi to see the CM because I wanted to give my support and the Congress president’s support. The doctors say her health is improving, and she is going to be all right. I want to give maximum energy to Jayalalithaaji so that she gets well soon,” Gandhi said.
The hospital on Thursday called in three specialists from the All India Institute of Medical Sciences in New Delhi to assist the team attending to the chief minister, whose hospitalisation has sparked rumours ranging from her death to an incurable disease.
Dr Richard John Beale, a world-renowned specialist and consultant from London, also visited Chennai a second time to assist the team in an advisory role.
The chief minister was hospitalised after she complained of high fever and dehydration, and the rumour mills have been running overtime since then.
(With PTI inputs)