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Even from hospital bed, CM Jayalalithaa keeps reins firmly in hand

Jaya unwell Updated: Oct 06, 2016 14:13 IST
KV Lakshmana

AIADMK MLAs Amman Arjunan and PRG Arunkumar offer prayers with women party members for the speedy recovery Tamil Nadu chief minister J Jayalalithaa, in Coimbatore.(PTI)

Tamil Nadu chief minister J Jayalalithaa, who is recuperating from fever and dehydration at Chennai’s Apollo Hospital, appears to be running the state and her party seamlessly from her bed.

A steady flow of ministers, party functionaries and officials outside the hospital keep the ship sailing. They are also tasked with assuring well-wishers and the media of her good health, saying that she will soon be discharged.

Apollo too has allayed fears, saying the CM’s health was improving and that she was under observation.

Top police officials have warned severe action against anyone spreading rumours about the health of the chief minister, as speculation over her ill health continued, spreading panic among her supporters. Prayers for her good health continue at many places in the state and her supporters and party cadres are camped outside the hospital, keeping vigil.

AIADMK spokesperson CR Sarawathi rubbished all rumours. “Everything is all right,” she said.

Meanwhile, inside the hospital, it is business as usual for Jayalalithaa.

She approved the list of party candidates for local body elections, all of whom filed their nominations at the appointed hour.

On Tuesday, shortly after the Supreme Court directed the Tamil Nadu and Karnataka governments to sit down and break the impasse over Cauvery water sharing, Jayalalithaa summoned an emergency meeting of key officials.

The impromptu meet began at 4:30 pm and lasted about an hour, during which she discussed in detail all the issues relating to the Supreme Court order on Cauvery. The meeting were attended by Tamil Nadu chief secretary P Rama Mohana Rao, advocate general R Muthukumaraswamy, adviser to the government Sheela Balakrishnan, and senior CMO officials KN Venkataramanan and A Ramalingam.

Read | SC asks Karnataka to give 6,000 cusecs Cauvery water to TN for 3 days

The Supreme Court has directed the attorney general to facilitate a meeting of the executive heads of the two states with the Union water resources ministry to break the impasse. The implications of the apex court’s verdict and the stand that Tamil Nadu has to take at the meeting of executive heads was finalised after the chief minister was appraised of all the developments by her legal team.

The meeting is likely to take place on Thursday.

Jayalalithaa has deputed minister for public works, highways and minor ports department Edapaddi K Palaniswami, Public Works Department principal secretary SK Prabakar and Cauvery Technical Cell chairman R Subramaniam to represent the state at the meeting.

Also discussed at the meeting were the issues to be taken up by Tamil Nadu and a statement she recorded to be read out at the meeting by the chief secretary, an official statement on Tuesday evening said.

Read | Cauvery row: Tamil Nadu political parties, farmers ask Centre to step in