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.