No TN Minister Met Jayalalithaa During Her Hospitalisation, Says OPS

Chennai: Tamil Nadu Deputy Chief Minister O Panneerselvam on Monday said no state minister met J Jayalalithaa during her hospitalisation and indicated that only her close aide VK Sasikala and her family had access to the late chief minister.

“No minister met Amma (Jayalalithaa),” he told reporters.

“The nurse used to go… they (Sasikala and family) used to go,” he said.

Asked why others could not meet Jayalalithaa, Panneerselvam said they were told that she could contract infection.

“We didn’t go (to her room) out of good intention that she should not contract infection. We wanted her to return in good health… they (Sasikala) would come out and tell Amma is doing well, eating. We could only say okay…thank you.. We were in grief that Amma was ill,” he said.

He recalled that he took care of the portfolios held by Jayalalithaa during her hospitalisation last year.

Panneerselvam, who took over as chief minister following Jayalalithaa’s death, later revolted against her close aide Sasikala, alleging that he was forced to make way for her elevation to the top post of the state.

He also recalled he had said in February that the people of the state wanted a probe into Jayalalithaa’s death.

Following a patch-up between camps led by himself and Chief Minister K Palaniswami in August, the government constituted a one-man inquiry commission to probe the circumstances leading to the September 22 hospitalisation and medical treatment provided to her till her death on December 5.

The TTV Dhinakaran faction had released a video purportedly of Jayalalitha in the hospital recently ahead of the RK Nagar bypoll.

The footage of about 20 seconds, aired by TV channels, showed the AIADMK supremo in a nightdress, looking frail and sipping a drink with the help of a straw.