It was a day of news conferences in Tamil Nadu, as allegations and counter-allegations were thrown around. Earlier on Tuesday, AIADMK founder-member PH Pandian and his son and former MP Manoj, had alleged that Jayalalithaa had been in depression and was poisoned.
Hours later, AIADMK leaders Panruti Ramachandran and KA Sengottaiyan called another news conference to dismiss his allegations and accuse him of working with the AIADMK’s rivals to undermine the party.
Rejecting all of Pandian’s charges, Panruti declared, “Some people are trying to spread rumours and create issues. When everything is going on peacefully, Pandian and Manoj did not need to make such allegations.” He added that if the duo had any problems, they should have raised them in party forums, and declared that the allegations made were not right.
Sengottaiyan alleged that Pandian was working against the party despite being well-rewarded by the party. Five members of Pandian’s family enjoying party positions, he said, “Even after that, he is all out to create confusion.”
Blaming Pandian for not working for the unity of the party in 1990 after it split following MGR’s death, Sengottaiyan asked what right Pandian had to speak now.
Sengottaiyan added that the party could not be divided easily. “There is an attempt to break the party after Amma left us. We are united and will not allow anyone to indulge in anti-party activities,” he said.
Denying the allegations regarding Jayalalithaa’s health and treatment, Panruti said that Pandian had no right to make such allegations. “Only doctors can speak about it; this allegation is completely false,” he said.
On Sasikala’s imminent elevation to the post of Chief Minister, he said that the ball was in the Governor’s court. “Our legislature party has selected Chinnamma as the leader. Now the governor has to indicate the time. Just because the governor has not responded, it does not mean it is a delay, it is just about convenience,” said Panruti.
“Whom to make the leader and how to do it is solely the decision of the party,” he said.
He also added that the Governor had a constitutional obligation to swear in the person who had been elected by the party.
“Nobody can stop Chinamma from becoming the Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu,” asserted Sengottaiyan.