AIADMK in spot after judicial panel recommends probe into Sasikala, former minister

Tamil Nadu’s opposition AIADMK is in a spot after the Justice A. Arumugasamy Commission, inquiring into the circumstances leading to hospitalisation and death of former Chief Minister J. Jayalalithaa, recommended a probe against her close aide and party’s former interim General Secretary, V.K. Sasikala and former Health Minister C. Vijayabhaskar.

While the AIADMK can technically distance itself from Sasikala as she has been expelled from the party, morally, it cannot shy off from her as she was very powerful during the period pertaining to the probe.

The Justice Arumugasamy Commission questioned why the then Chief Minister was not taken abroad for treatment even after eminent US doctor Dr. Richard Beale was so prepared to undertake treatment.

The report also said that even after doctors from UK and US who had reached the Apollo Hospital, on an invitation from the state government, had suggested angioplasty, it was not conducted. “They (the hospital) successfully threw it to the wind on the pretext of postponing it to achieve their aim under some pressure. Hence, investigation is to be ordered.”

“The Commission considering the above aspects is to come to no other conclusion but to indict R.1 (V.K. Sasikala),” it said.

It also said: “From all these aspects, the commission concludes that R.1 – VK Sasikala, CW. 17 – K.S. Sivakumar, CW 1366 – Dr. J. Radhakrishnan, then Health Secretary, and CW146 – Dr C. Vijaybhaskar, then Health Minister, have to be found fault with and an investigation is to be ordered.”

The report which was tabled in the house will lead to a major political game in the days to come.

While DMK is firmly in the saddle in Tamil Nadu, the AIADMK, in opposition, is a divided house with former Chief Ministers O. Panneerselvam and K. Palaniswami fighting against each other. Panneerselvam and the faction close to him have been expelled from the party during its general council meeting of July 11 which is now under the consideration of the Supreme Court following his appeal.

The powerful Thevar community of south Tamil Nadu has been trying to forge an alliance between Panneerselvam and Sasikala. However, with the Judicial Commission recommending a probe against Sasikala, it will be now difficult for such an alliance.

Interestingly, the Palaniswami camp cannot also rejoice in the report recommending a probe against Sasikala as the party leader and former Health Minister Vijaybhaskar’s name has also cropped up.

The AIADMK will have to provide lots of answers after the judicial commission recommended a probe into the death of Jayalalithaa. With the Assembly in session till October 19, there will be a heated debate on the report.

“AIADMK is already divided and this will increase in days to come. With the DMK getting a good stick to beat the AIADMK, politics in Tamil Nadu will be taking an interesting turn with the report of Justice Arumugasamy,” a senior AIADMK leader told IANS.




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