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Wednesday, Nov 13, 2019

‘DMK will reveal truth behind Jayalalithaa’s death’, says Stalin

The ruling AIADMK said Stalin was flogging a dead horse and the results of the bye-elections to two assembly constituencies will prove it.

india Updated: Oct 16, 2019 19:27 IST
MC Rajan
MC Rajan
Hindustan Times, Chennai
DMK chief M K Stalin at an election rally said  his party will bring out the truth behind the death of former Chief Minister Jayalalithaa.
DMK chief M K Stalin at an election rally said his party will bring out the truth behind the death of former Chief Minister Jayalalithaa.(PTI)
         

Reviving the debate over the death of former Tamil Nadu Chief Minister and AIADMK supremo J Jayalalithaa after 75 days of hospitalisation in 2016, DMK chief MK Stalin on Tuesday turned it into a campaign issue in the assembly bypolls.

“The DMK will bring out the truth behind the mysterious death of Jayalalithaa. The present AIADMK government of Edapaddi K Palaniswami (EPS), which is neck deep in corruption is hiding the truth, though it uses her name to claim legitimacy,” Stalin who is also the leader of opposition in the assembly said during his campaign for the Congress candidate Ruby Manoharan in Nanguneri.

Nanguneri in southern Tirunelveli district and Vikravandi in Villupuram district are going to the bypolls on October 21. While the DMK is taking on the ruling AIADMK in Vikravandi, its ally Congress is pitted against the latter in Nanguneri.

Stalin accused the AIADMK government of keeping Jayalalithaa’s treatment at Apollo Hospitals in Chennai under a cloak of secrecy. This was in stark contrast to the earlier practice of media briefing by ministers during the hospitalisation of late chief ministers CN Annadurai and MG Ramachandran. When Karunanidhi was under treatment, the hospital issued regular bulletin, he recalled and alleged that even the Commission of Inquiry headed by retired High Court Judge Arumugha Swamy to probe Jayalalithaa’s death was an eye wash.

Jayalalithaa who retained power in the May 2016 elections, was admitted to Apollo hospital on September 22. She passed away on December 5 that year.

“It was not the opposition that raised doubts over her death, but O Panneerselvam (OPS), who is now the Deputy Chief Minister. He too has been silenced after being accommodated in the government. Now, the AIADMK ministers have all but forgotten the death of a leader because of whom they are in power,” Stalin.

“The ministers keep Jayalalithaa’s picture in their pockets and it is displayed at government functions only to hoodwink the people so that they could indulge in corruption. And to stick on to power, they remain slaves of the BJP-led government at the Centre, unmindful of New Delhi usurping state autonomy and rights of Tamil Nadu,” he further alleged.

Debunking Stalin, AIADMK spokesperson and advocate Sivasankari said Stalin was ‘flogging a dead horse’ as the DMK is bereft of any issue in this bypoll. The DMK president is hoping to poach the loyal women voters of Amma (Jayalalithaa), but it would be proved futile once the bypoll results are out, she claimed.

“The DMK has reaped a rich harvest in the Lok Sabha elections by making false promises. It is no position to make any fresh ones. As such Stalin has resorted to this in the futile hope of poaching women voters who have been a pillar of support for Amma.”

However, analysts explain that Stalin has been keeping alive the issue of Jayalalithaa’s death to target the current AIADMK leadership. According to political commentator Babu Jayakumar, Stalin is using this as a ploy to remind the electorate of the suspicion in Jayalalithaa’s death.

“The core support base of the AIADMK is there because of Jayalalithaa and her charisma. That social base is not because of Chief Minister EPS or Deputy CM OPS. And, Stalin raising the issue of her death will have a resonance and create a suspicion among the voters, especially the women. It will definitely help the DMK as it has in the past,” he reasoned.