On Friday, Tamil Nadu Forest Minister Dindigul Sreenivasan made a shocking revelation. Exactly a year after Jayalalithaa's hospitalization, the minister claimed that they were not allowed to meet her at Apollo hospital while she was undergoing the treatment and apologized to the people for lying.
On the other hand, Co-operatives Minister Sellur K Raju said that all ministers were allowed to meet her.
The truth perhaps lies somewhere in between, but ever since Jayalalithaa's hospitalization, her party colleagues have taken the people of the state for a ride.
Jayalalithaa was admitted to the hospital on September 22, 2016 for fever and dehydration. On September 27, she had chaired a meeting with the ministers and officials regarding the Cauvery issue.
There were weekly statements from Apollo hospital which stated she was recovering well or was on anti- biotics, and that she was provided necessary respiratory support or she would be returning home soon. Unfortunately, she had a cardiac arrest and died on December 5, 2016.
While Jayalalithaa was still in the hospital, former Minister and AIADMK leader Valarmathi had said that Jayalalithaa was â€śhealthy, needs rest as per doctorsâ€™ advice and will return in good healthâ€ť.
Moreover, then spokesperson for the party CR Saraswathi had stated that Jayalalithaa was having idly and was recovering well.
The first departure from these parroted lines came in February, 2017, when O Panneerselvam rebelled against Sasikala and her family, stating that he had never been allowed to meet Jayalalithaa even once. â€śFor 75 days, I went to the hospital. But I could not meet her even once. Even my family members used to ask me every day whether I met Amma. At one stage, I even thought of lying that I had met her. But I did not do so,â€ť said Panneerselvam.
He also added that they were constantly informed that Amma was recovering. However, he did not have information about any other political leaders meeting her, only the Governor had seen her twice.
Later, PH Pandian a former Speaker of TN assembly and his son and former Member of Parliament Manoj Pandian at a press conference claimed that Jayalalithaa did not die under natural circumstances. They alleged that Jayalalithaa was suffering from depression and had an argument with someone in Poes Garden. He also alleged that Jayalalithaa had been poisoned. â€śI came to know she was depressed and also collapsed at Poes Garden as someone pushed her. She was taken to hospital to avoid suspicion,â€ť PH Pandian had then said.
In May, O Panneerselvam had stated that he had consulted with officers about the treatment provided to Jayalalithaa. â€śInitially we believed what the doctors told us; however, we now demand enquiry into the death of Amma as the party cadres and public are not convinced with the doctorsâ€™ version on the issue,â€ť OPS said, reported Deccan Chronicle.
Speaking at a public meeting in Madurai, on Friday night Sreenivasan said: "We told lies that she (Jayalalithaa) had idlis and people met her. The truth is that nobody saw her."
On Tuesday, Sellur Raju disgreeing with Sreenivasan said that all the ministers including him were allowed to meet Jayalalithaa in hospital.
However, AIADMK's ousted Deputy General Secretary TTV Dhinakaran denied allegations that Sasikala controlled the management during Jayalalithaaâ€™s treatment. He said that his aunt was with Jayalalithaa since her admission on September 22 but after October 1, she was only allowed to meet her for a couple of minutes as doctors had restricted visitors due to fear of infection, stated a report.
He also claimed that Sasikala shot a video of Jayalalithaa. â€śBut we have a footage shot by Chinnamma (Sasikala), after Jayalalithaa insisted that she take a video because she had lost a lot of weight,â€ť The Times of India quoted him as saying.
It seems an abundant number of lies have been dished out in the past few months, but can the probe headed by retired High Court judge Justice A Arumughaswamy bring out the truth?