Sasikala visits husband Natarajan in hospital, as TN ministers keep distance

TN Minister Ma Foi Pandiarajan said he would definitely not meet Sasikala during her parole.
Sasikala visits husband Natarajan in hospital, as TN ministers keep distance
Sasikala visits husband Natarajan in hospital, as TN ministers keep distance
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A day after being allowed five-day emergency parole, sidelined AIADMK leader VK Sasikala visited her ailing husband M Natarajan at a hospital in Chennai on Saturday.

A medical bulletin released by the Gleaneagles Global Hospital on Saturday states that Natarajan is recovering well in the liver intensive care unit “He is awake and oriented and he is on ventilator support through tracheostomy, which has been performed on 06.10.2017. As in any other combined liver and kidney transplant surgeries, his condition will be critical for the next few days,” stated a release from the hospital.

Despite restrictions placed on Sasikala during her parole, AIADMK cadres and leaders including MP Vijila Satyanand arrived in T Nagar, hoping to catch a glimpse of their leader. 

While Sasikala returned to a rousing reception in Chennai, ministers in the Edappadi Palaniswami administration maintained that they would not visit her. Speaking to the media on Saturday, Tamil Development Minister Ma Foi Pandiarajan said, “I am definitely not going to meet her.”

On Friday, the cries of ‘Thyaga Thai Chinnamma’ rent the air, as Sasikala arrived in Chennai on five-day emergency parole. For the beleaguered faction of the AIADMK, it was a chance to celebrate the return of their leader, who has been lodged at Bengaluru’s Parappana Agrahara jail since February 15. While a crowd of her supporters had gathered outside 181 Habibullah Road, the residence of her niece since early Friday evening, a band added to the festive mood.  

As soon as word spread that the Bengaluru jail officials had granted Sasikala emergency parole, a few billboards bearing pictures of Sasikala, and late Chief Minister Jayalalithaa sprung up outside the house. By 9. 45pm, the 200-strong crowd of ‘Chinnamma’ loyalists had surged, as the ‘ousted’ leader’s car made its way through to the T Nagar residence.  

While there was speculation that she would visit Natarajan in hospital on Friday night, Sasikala chose to remain at home.

Sidelined Deputy General Secretary and nephew TTV Dhinakaran had driven to Bengaluru to welcome Sasikala. Those present to greet her outside jail included nephew Vivek and his family. While a number of flights had been booked out of Bengaluru for Sasikala, the Mannargudi family chose to drive down to Chennai. Among those who greeted her at her residence were 15 MLAs who have pledged support to the Dhinakaran faction.

Sasikala was granted emergency parole on Friday to visit her husband Natarajan, who had undergone a dual transplantation at the Gleneagles Global Hospital in Chennai. She has been granted parole on the condition that she does not hold political rallies or meet with political leaders, she does not give interviews to the media and her movement is restricted to the T Nagar residence and the hospital. She will have to return to the Bengaluru jail on October 12.

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