Senior AIADMK leader PH Pandian on Tuesday raised doubts over the circumstances surrounding J Jayalalithaa’s death, terming them mysterious, and called for an investigation. The former Speaker of the Tamil Nadu assembly also hit out at chief minister-designate VK Sasikala, saying the late CM had told him she didn’t want Sasikala to take charge of the state.
Here are the 10 most important things the veteran MLA said:
1. Jaya was pushed
Pandian alleged Jayalalithaa was pushed and fell over on September 22 after an argument with someone at her residence at Poes Garden in Chennai. The late leader, who Pandian claimed was depressed, was taken to Apollo Hospital to cover it up.
2. Her death was unnatural
While doctors, including London specialist Dr Richard Beale, on Monday said Jayalalithaa had died after a sudden cardiac arrest, Pandian claimed that the late leader’s death was unnatural, and hinted at the possibility of poisoning. The AIADMK leader also called for an investigation into her death as well as a probe into all the people present at Poes Garden on September 22.
3. Sketchy treatment details
Pandian said that none of the AIADMK leaders knew about Jayalalithaa’s health condition and what medical treatment she was receiving throughout her 75-day hospitalisation. The hospital had on Monday told the media that a team, including Sasikala and AIADMK leader Thambidurai, were given a daily briefing about the treatment.
4. Sasikala did not cry
When AIADMK leaders entered Apollo Hospital on December 5, after learning that Jayalalithaa had suffered a cardiac arrest, Pandian alleged that neither Sasikala nor her family seemed affected by the 68-year-old’s death.
5. Sasikala and Co at funeral
Pandian said the entire party leadership was shocked to see members of Sasikala’s family, called the “Mannargudi Mafia” by detractors, crowd Jayalalithaa’s body at Rajaji Hall, and take over the funeral proceedings.
6. Jaya didn’t want Sasikala to be CM
Manoj Pandian, the MLA’s son who is a former AIADMK MLA, said the late leader told him that she did not want Sasikala to be chief minister of Tamil Nadu.
7. Sasikala has no mandate
Manoj Pandian said Sasikala’s appointment as party general secretary and leader of the Legislative Party were illegal as she had not been elected. His father, meanwhile, said that Jayalalithaa’s confidante was “unfit to be chief minister.”
8. No support for Sasikala
Both leaders insisted that there was no support for Sasikala from the party functionaries or cadres.
9. For the people
Pandian said Jayalalithaa, on her return from jail in 1996, declared to the party functionaries that all her belongings should go to the people. “She told me that I must see to it. I have a duty to fulfill her wish after her demise,” he said.
10. Future plans
The two said they would announce their future plans on February 24, Jayalalithaa’s birth anniversary. Deepa Jayakumar, the late leader’s niece, had earlier announced that she too would announce her political party on that day.