Rahul ‘Visits’ Jaya; Swamy Seeks Central Rule

CHENNAI:  Congress Vice President Rahul Gandhi ‘visited’ Tamil Nadu Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa at Apollo Hospital on Friday and said “she is recovering well” without actually meeting her. His visit came as controversial BJP parliamentarian Subramanian Swamy demanded President’s rule in the state.

Rahul Gandhi went to the hospital straight from the airport and reportedly spent an hour at Apollo. Either Congress or AIADMK did not disclose any details. Nevertheless, Rahul Gandhi said, “I came to extend my support to Ms Jayalalithaa.  She’s recovering. I wish her maximum energy so she’d be able to get well soon.”

Meanwhile, the hospital clarified that the Congress leader saw her from outside the ward. On Thursday, Apollo had given a little more information about the health condition of Jayalalithaa. It said in a bulletin, “the present treatment regimen includes continued respiratory support, nebulisation, drugs to decongest the lungs, antibiotics, nutrition, general nursing care and supportive therapy.” The patient continued to improve and was making gradual progress, Apollo Hospital said.

Putting at rest public and political demands for official statements on CM’s health, the Madras High Court said on Thursday that there was no need for such announcements.

Stoking up more controversy, Subramanian Swamy urged Home Minister Rajnath Singh to impose President’s Rule on Tamil Nadu because of prolonged hospitalisation of Jayalalithaa. “I urge Rajnath Singh to invoke Article 356 of the Constitution and put the Legislative Assembly in suspended animation till Jayalalithaa is able to attend office,” he said in a press statement on Friday.

Swamy’s call gained traction with Governor Vidyasagar Rao conferring with the state’s Chief Secretary and two senior ministers on Friday evening. He is reported to have enquired about Jayalalithaa’s health and the general administration of Tamil Nadu, among other things.

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