Swamy said that there was no question of asking for an inquiry into Jayalalithaa's treatment when he had no evidence that wrongdoing had occurred.

Why should I have a stand Ask those who went to hospital Swamy on Jayalalithaas deathPTI/File Photo
news Jayalalithaa Sunday, December 18, 2016 - 19:45

In an unusual show of restraint, vocal BJP leader Subramanian Swamy refused to comment on the circumstances around late Chief Minister Jayalalithaa’s death and the many calls that have arisen for inquiry into her treatment.

When asked by reporters at Coimbatore Airport what his stand on the issue was, he responded, “Why should I have a stand? I know nothing about how she died. I didn’t visit the hospital. Ask those who visited the hospital.”

When pushed further on whether he thought an inquiry should be conducted into her treatment, he countered, “How can I say there should be enquiry when I have no evidence that something wrong has happened? Those who went to the hospital and enquired and said that she’s doing very well, she’s in good health, improving... ask Rahul Gandhi. Why are you asking me?”

Asserting that he never made statements on any issue unless he had evidence, Swamy said, “And since I did not come to Tamil Nadu during that period and I did not go to the hospital, so where is the question of my asking for anything?”

Taking a dig at MDMK leader Vaiko, Swamy asserted that he is not a Tamil Nadu politician in the typical sense. “They’ll say anything at any time. Like Vaiko. After Jallikattu he went running to Delhi to see if he could get part of the credit, like in Mullaiperiyar. I did all the work, then he said he got it done. So you ask people who are ready to talk on anything.”

Swamy also refused to make any statement or predictions on the next General Secretary of the AIADMK. Since he had no vote in the matter, he said, there was no point in him saying anything about it. It is a matter for the general body of the AIADMK to settle, he said.

On the next General Secretary of the AIADMK, he said that he had no vote in the matter, and hence there was no point to him saying anything about it. It was a matter for the general body of the AIADMK to settle, he said.

On the issue of demonetisation, he said that he had always been for the move, that it was necessary to fight black money. However, he said, he had always maintained that the move should be done with full preparation and should be accompanied with an abolishment of income tax in order to give people relief.

“Unfortunately the Finance Ministry had not done any preparation. They probably thought it’ll never come. And he assumed that, because we decided in 2014 at the time of the election that we will do demonetisation, so the Finance Ministry ought to have in these two and a half years prepared a contingency plan. They did not. So that is where the difficulty is.”

He added that a committee he had earlier chaired on the issue had recommended many preparatory measures, including early disbursal of Rs 100 notes, installation of ATMs at all government offices and payment of government employees in cash in order to reduce crowds at ATMs, maintenance of the proper size of notes for disbursal of money from ATMs. But in the end, only demonetisation came into effect, without any of the preparatory measures, he said. Questions about demonetisation fallout, he said, should only be addressed to Arun Jaitley and not anyone else.

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