Madras High Court raises doubts about Jaya’s death
- Sasikala appointed AIADMK gen. secretary
Chennai: A judge of the Madras High Court has echoed what the electronic, print and social media have said about the death of former Tamil Nadu chief minister J Jayalalithaa: The mystery surrounding her hospitalization and doubts about her death.
Hearing a petition seeking a CBI probe into her death on December 5 at Apollo Hospital in Chennai, Justice Vaidyalingam of Madras High Court observed on Thursday that he too have doubts about her death. “Personally, even I have doubts on Jayalalithaa’s death. When she was admitted in the hospital, it was said that she was on a proper diet. At least after her death now, the truth should be revealed,” he said. He is reported to have pointed out at the doubts raised by the media and said that the mysterious conditions under which she died should be probed.
Justice Vaidyalingam of the vacation bench of the Madras High Court which heard the petition is said to have issued a notice to the Prime Minister, the Central Bureau of Investigation and the Apollo Hospital, where Jayalalithaa had been treated for two months. The case will be heard again on January 8.
The PIL, filed by one PA Joseph of Arumbakkam in Chennai, listed the series of events since Jayalalithaa’s hospitalisation at Apollo Hospital on September 22 and asked the court to appoint a commission to investigate all records, reports and documents in possession of the government and the hospital. The PIL further said the probe should look into ‘several questionable incidents’ including the sudden hospitalisation, her reported recovery and the sudden cardiac arrest resulting in her death on December 5. Among other issues the PIL wanted to be investigated is Jayalalithaa’s thumb impression on election forms.
‘Chinnamma’ Sasikala becomes party general secretary
Ironically, the Madras High Court’s observations on the mass leader’s death came on the day the AIADMK has unanimously appointed the former chief minister’s confidante VK Sasikala as party general secretary.
The party’s General Council held its meeting in Chennai on Thursday and passed a resolution appointing Sasikala as AIADMK general secretary. Jayalalithaa too was AIADMK’s general secretary before becoming the chief minister. Thus Sasikala who is widely seen as heir apparent is rumoured to replace Chief Minister O Pannerselvam. In a way, her elevation to the party’s top post is paving the way to make her Tamil Nadu chief minister. After conveying the party’s decision to Sasikala at Poes Garden, OP announced, “From today Chinnamma will be the General Secretary of AIADMK and will soon formally take charge.”
What is to be noted is the party’s General Council is careful in naming Sasikala as general secretary in its wording. The resolution that was passed says, in part, “This General Council adopts this resolution appointing Chinnamma VK Sasikala as the party general secretary till such time she is (formally) elected to that post in tune with party rule 20, clause 2 and unanimously gives her all the powers bestowed on the position of general secretary (by the party rules) to administer the party.” That means Sasikala will be formally elected as AIADMK General Secretary later according to the party constitution. Apparently, this has been done to silence Sasikala’s critics and dissidents within the party who have been opposing her candidature as general secretary and as future chief minister.
The party mood was palpable on the eve of the council meeting when AIADMK workers beat up a group of lawyers who came to the party office to get details of the meeting. They were sent by expelled party MP Sasikala Pushpa whose husband, Lingeswara Thilagan, was injured in the incident.
In a reaffirmation of party’s loyalty, the General Council has resolved to celebrate Jayalalithaa’s birthday as ‘National Farmers Day’; and campaign for Magsaysay Award and Nobel Prize for World Peace.