Chennai, September 23
Tamil Nadu Minister for Forests C. Sreenivasan has sought people’s apology for “lying” about the health condition of late Chief Minister J. Jayalalithaa when she was admitted in Apollo Hospital.
Speaking at a public meeting in Madurai, around 500 km from here, on Friday night Sreenivasan said: “We would have told lies that she (Jayalalithaa) had idlis and people met her. The truth is that nobody saw her”. Sreenivasan said he was seeking apology from the people now for “those lies”.
According to him, everyone in the government and in the ruling AIADMK party “lied about the people” who had met Jayalalithaa in Apollo Hospital, where she was admitted on September 22 last year.
Sreenivasan said AIADMK ministers, even national leaders, were made to sit in Apollo Hospitals’ Chief Pratap Reddy’s room when they came to visit.
“We all lied then so that the party’s secret does not get leaked,” Sreenivasan said.
He said nobody met Jayalalithaa in her hospital room.
She was admitted to Apollo on the night of September 22 and died in the hospital on December 5. The information from the government and the hospital about her health condition was scarce throughout her stay there, with most communication about her health only saying she was doing well and was on the road to recovery.
Only V.K. Sasikala — a close aide of Jayalalithaa for several years — visited the ailing leader, Sreenivasan said.
T.T.V.Dinakaran, Sasikala’s nephew who is currently involved in a power tussle with the party, said doctors restricted Sasikala’s entry into Jayalalithaa’s room to two minutes after October 1, 2016.
Tamil Nadu Chief Minister K. Palaniswami had announced the government’s decision to set up an inquiry commission to be headed by a retired high court judge to investigate Jayalalithaa’s death.
Ever since Jayalalithaa died on December 5, there have been hints of foul play over her death, with critics pointing fingers at the now jailed Sasikala.