Poongothai Aladi Aruna was admitted to a hospital in Tirunelveli on Thursday in an unconscious state after she allegedly took "sleeping pills", as per reports.

DMK MLA Poongothai Aladi Aruna smiling at the camera in a red and cream saree
news Politics Friday, November 20, 2020 - 08:26

The DMK on Thursday denied reports that an internal party dispute had led to an alleged suicide attempt by its legislator Poongothai Aladi Aruna. She was admitted to a hospital in Tirunelveli on Thursday in an unconscious state after she allegedly took "sleeping pills", as per reports. But the hospital had not confirmed this and merely maintained that she was responding to treatment.

A health release by the Shifa hospital said,"Poongothai, who was admitted in an unconscious state is under examination. At present, she remains awake, responsive and her vital parameters are satisfactory. However, her current clinical condition demands her to stay in the Intensive Care Unit (ICU). She is being continuously monitored by a team of doctors."

DMK leaders meanwhile visited the Alangulam MLA and denied allegations of an internal party squabble leading to a suicide attempt. Senior leader and Rajya Sabha MP, R S Bharathi asserted there was no truth in the allegation. "I met her today at the hospital after our president (M K Stalin) asked me to visit her. She is conscious. I am confident about her discharge from the hospital on Friday," he told PTI.

DMK district office-bearers also accompanied him to the hospital and there is no disagreement or squabble within the party, Bharathi said.

However, a video clip of Poongothai in the midst of a party meeting and touching the feet of some party functionaries, indicating a bickering, has gone viral in the social media. Some party workers were seen approaching her, but the MLA, seated on the floor, could be seen gesturing to them to leave.

A source in the DMK meanwhile tells TNM that the suicide attempt was due to a family dispute. “She has had a long-standing feud with one of her brothers, who is also in the party. She had participated at a party meeting on Wednesday, but was upset as her brother was on the stage while she was not,” says the source. Poongothai had reportedly refused to take the stage later.

Poongothai was elected to the Tamil Nadu Assembly from the Alangulam constituency in 2016 and earlier in 2006. Poongothai is a gynaecologist by profession and is the daughter of late DMK Minister Aladi Aruna.

Poongathai was made the state Social Welfare Minister by the late Chief Minister and former DMK patriarch M Karunanidhi and then the Information Technology Minister during the DMK-led Tamil Nadu government from 2009-11.

(With inputs from IANS and PTI)

If you are aware of anyone facing mental health issues or feeling suicidal, please provide help. Here are some helpline numbers of suicide-prevention organisations that can offer emotional suppport to individuals and families.

Tamil Nadu

State health department's suicide helpline: 104

Sneha Suicide Prevention Centre - 044-24640050 (listed as the sole suicide prevention helpline in Tamil Nadu)

Andhra Pradesh

Life Suicide Prevention: 78930 78930

Roshni: 9166202000, 9127848584


Sahai (24-hour): 080 65000111, 080 65000222


Maithri: 0484 2540530

Chaithram: 0484 2361161

Both are 24-hour helpline numbers.


State government's suicide prevention (toll-free): 104

Roshni: 040 66202000, 6620200

SEVA: 09441778290, 040 27504682 (between 9 amd and 7 pm)

Aasara offers support to inidviduals and families during an emotional crisis, for those dealing with mental health issues and suicidal ideation, and to those undergoing trauma after the suicide of a loved one.

24x7 Helpline: 9820466726