DMK MLA Poongothai Aladi Aruna was hospitalised on Thursday in Tirunelveli district after allegedly consuming sleeping pills.

DMK MLA Poongothai Aladi Aruna with her hands folded in a party rally.
news Politics Friday, November 20, 2020 - 17:09

A day after the hospitalisation of former minister and DMK legislator Poongothai Aladi Aruna who allegedly consumed sleeping pills, a video has emerged from Tenkasi district indicating a tussle between her and other party members on Wednesday. While the DMK has denied allegations of an internal party dispute leading to her hospitalisation, the video confirms the existence of tensions between the MLA and other party members.

In the video, Poongothai is seated on the ground with a mask and can be seen falling at the feet of other party members. They in turn accuse her of purposely creating a problem, directing her to the stage. They tell her she is walking in and out of the meeting and starting a fight. In another video, she can be seen making a statement on the mic and then abruptly leaving the venue.

DMK sources told TNM that the cause for the conflict was that a family member of the MLA was attempting to usurp her MLA seat and was given a place on the stage during a party event, while she wasn't. The MLA had been admitted in an unconscious state to the Shifa Hospitals in Tirunelveli on Thursday.  The hospital in a press release shortly after her admission 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."

Senior leader and Rajya Sabha MP, RS Bharathi visited her in the hospital on Thursday. "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.

Poongothai is the MLA from Alangulam assembly constituency in Tirunelveli district. She was first elected as an MLA in 2006 from Alangulam. While she was defeated by the AIADMK candidate in 2011, Poongothai won back the seat in 2016 with over 88,000 votes polled in her favour. She had served as Social Welfare Minister in 2008 and later as Minister for Information and Technology. 

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



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