The O Panneerselvam group of the AIADMK has kept the pot boiling in Tamil Nadu, raising doubts over the death of then chief minister J Jayalalithaa and obliquely hinting at foul play in the whole episode.
Former Tamil Nadu assembly speaker PH Pandian, who was among the first to walk over to the Panneerselvam side, on Thursday alleged that Jayalalithaa was admitted to Apollo Hospitals on September 22, 2016, after the then chief minister was pushed down by someone at her Poes Garden residence in Chennai.
Making this startling claim while addressing media persons outside Panneerselvam’s residence, Pandian senior said, “Amma (Jayalalithaa) fell down after someone pushed her. Nobody knows what happened to Amma after that. A police official called an ambulance, and she was taken to hospital.”
The discharge summary issued by Apollo Hospitals, where Jayalalithaa was treated for 75 days till her death on December 5, 2016, mentioned that the chief minister fell at her residence, Pandian told the media.
On February 7, Pandian and his son Manoj Pandian, a former MP, had sought a probe into the circumstances leading to Jayalalithaa’s hospitalisation.
Pandian, who was one of the AIADMK leaders to oppose party general secretary VK Sasikala’s swearing-in as the chief minister, also alleged that more than 25 closed-circuit television cameras were removed from the Apollo Hospitals after Jayalalithaa’s hospitalisation.
Both he and his son raised a series of questions, to which they said there were no answers. First, someone should explain as to what time the ambulance came to Poes Garden and what time it reached the hospital. The CCTV footage inside Poes Garden and Apollo Hospital must be made public, he demanded.
“More than 27 CCTV cameras were removed from Apollo Hospital after Jayalalithaa was hospitalized,” the former speaker said, demanding the hospital management to explain why the cameras were removed.
Pandian also wondered why a physiotherapist from a Singapore hospital was flown in to treat Jayalalithaa when Apollo Hospitals has several such specialists.
He asked who gave Apollo Hospitals the order to remove the life support systems of Jayalalithaa on December 5.
Pandian also alleged that Jayalalihtaa had passed away on December 4 at 4.30pm but it was announced only on December 5. The hospital must explain why, he said.
The most important question was who permitted the doctors to stop medical treatment to Jayalalithaa. Normally the permission has to be given by the immediate relatives of the patient, and the hospital must come out with the truth, he said.
AIADMK treasurer and forests minister C Srinivasan, in a statement, criticised Pandian and said that clarifications about Jayalalithaa’s health and the treatment given to her were already explained by a team of doctors who treated her.
Srinivasan said the discharge summary was submitted by Apollo Hospitals in a case pending in the Madras high court.
He said it was Jayalalithaa’s personal security guard who called for the ambulance and took her to Apollo Hospitals on September 22.
Twelve MPs from AIADMK, who walked over to the Panneerselvam side, had earlier called on President Pranab Mukherjee and raised the issue of an independent probe into Jayalalithaa’s death.
(With inputs from agencies)