Had suggested Jayalalithaa be shifted abroad for treatment: O Panneerselvam

N ChithraUpdated: Monday, March 21, 2022, 10:36 PM IST
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J Jayalalithaa | File Photo

Chennai: Former Tamil Nadu Chief Minister O Panneerselvam on Monday told an Inquiry Commission that he had broached the subject of shifting then Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa abroad for treatment in 2016 when she was admitted to the Apollo Hospitals.

The Justice Arumughaswamy Commission of Inquiry was constituted by the erstwhile Edappadi K Palaniswami Government on a demand made by Panneerselvam, now the AIADMK coordinator, as a precondition for merging the two factions of the AIADMK that had split following Jayalalithaa’s death.

Appearing before the Commission, Panneerselvam, who was handling governance during Jayalalithaa’s hospitalisation and succeeded her as Chief Minister following her death, said he had asked then Health Minister C Vijayabaskar and Local Administration Minister S P Velumani and Apollo Hospitals founder Pratap Reddy’s son-in-law Vijayakumar Reddy about shifting her abroad for treatment.

“I suggested to them she can be taken abroad just like former Chief Ministers C N Annadurai [1968] and M G Ramachandran [1984] were flown abroad for treatment. The Health Minister told me he would discuss the possibility with Apollo Hospitals and later informed me that Vijayakumar Reddy told him Jayalalitha’s health had improved and she could be discharged in a week,” Panneerselvam told the Commission.

Stating he was not aware why Jayalalithaa was rushed to hospital on the night of September 22, 2016, and that he learnt about it only the following day, Panneerselvam said he was unaware of her health issues except that she was diabetic.

Asked why he sought a probe into her hospitalisation and death, he claimed he did so on the basis of suspicions in the minds of the people about Jayalalithaa’s demise. He claimed he had no role in the removal of all CCTV cameras from Apollo Hospitals after Jayalalithaa’s hospitalisation.

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