The drama surrounding Tamil Nadu politics reached dizzying heights on Tuesday, with founder member of the AIADMK PH Pandian alleging that Jayalalithaa had not died under natural circumstances.
In a press meet called in Chennai, Pandian a former Speaker of TN assembly and his son and former Member of Parliament Manoj Pandian alleged that Jayalalithaa was suffering from depression and had an argument with someone in Poes Garden. He also alleged that Jayalalithaa had been poisoned. “It is the truth. No AIADMK cadre has accepted Sasikala,” said Manoj Pandian.
Pandian claimed he had read media reports that Jayalalithaa was injured in a clash on September 22 and was rushed to hospital to avoid suspicion. “I came to know she was depressed and also collapsed at Poes Garden as someone pushed her. She was taken to hospital to avoid suspicion,” PH Pandian said.
He also demanded an enquiry into her death. Pandian also said that Jayalalithaa had confided in him that she was worried about ‘these people taking over.’ Pandian who was a founding member of the AIADMK and had worked with both MG Ramachandran and Jayalalithaa questioned why Sasikala was in a hurry to become Chief Minister.
“She was not even given a councillor’s post. How can she be Amma’s political heir,” he asked.
On being asked why they chose to speak up only now, and not before, Manoj Pandian said, “The happenings in the last two days with regard to Sasikala’s election and the press meet by doctors prompted us to talk. We were planning to speak on Feb 24. We are leveling a charge that she was poisoned. Truth will come out, circumstances won’t lie. Witnesses may lie, but truth will come.”
Manoj Pandian also questioned Sasikala’s election as General Secretary. “The manner in which the election was conducted was not according to will of 1.5 crore cadres. It was a decision taken by just 2,000 odd members,” he said.
He added that any leader who had self-respect should speak up against Sasikala.
Pandian also alleged that he saw no remorse or sadness among Sasikala’s family when Jayalalithaa died. The AIADMK has dismissed the allegations and said that Pandian was removed as an organising secretary in 2015 and he was being opportunistic.
"He is trying to split the party. I have seen him begging to Chinamma for favours. They are selfish," said CR Saraswati, AIADMK spokesperson.