Jayalalithaa Died A Day Before Announcement, Claims Sasikala's Brother, Apollo Denies

The allegations have been denied by Apollo Hospitals.

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Jayalalithaa Died A Day Before Announcement, Claims Sasikala's Brother, Apollo Denies

Jayalalithaa was declared dead on December 5 due to cardiac failure


Chennai:  Stoking a fresh row when a high level investigation is under way into former Tamil Nadu Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa's death, her close aide VK Sasikala's brother - V Divakaran - now claims that Ms Jayalalithaa died a day before the official announcement was made. The allegation has been denied by Apollo Hospitals that had said Jayalalithaa died on December 5, 2016.

Addressing his supporters in Tiruvarur district, Mr Divakaran said, "Amma died exactly at 5:15 pm on the 4th due to a massive heart attack. Later, the hospital had only kept her on machine. When I asked, Dr Reddy said we have so many branches in the state, ensure security for all, only then we shall declare."

Mr Divakaran alleges the delay in the declaration of Jayalalithaa's death was due to the demand made by Apollo Hospitals - where the former chief minister was being treated - asking the state government to ensure security for all its hospitals in the state.

Rejecting the charges, a statement from Apollo Hospitals said, "The unfortunate declaration of death was done as per standard clinical protocols. Moreover, there is a process of inquiry which is being conducted by an eminent body to go through all the facts leading to her demise. We would like the matter to be clarified at the earliest in the interest of truth and justice."

A one-man commission of inquiry headed by a retired high court judge, Justice Arumughasamy, is probing the circumstances that led to Jayalalithaa's death.

Mr Divakaran's remarks come as an embarrassment for Sasikala, who was taking care of the former AIADMK chief when she was in hospital. But the real targets of Mr Divakaran seem to be Chief Minister E Palaniswami and his predecessor O Pannerselvam. Earlier, Mr Pannerselvam had said he was not allowed to see Jayalalithaa in hospital by Sasikala and family. Similar allegations have also been made by other AIADMK leaders. Even the Governor and several dignitaries who visited the hospital weren't able to meet Jayalalithaa. 

No pictures of Jayalalithaa in hospital were released. However, a few weeks ago, a former legislator from the Sasikala camp released a video of Jayalalithaa watching television, claiming it was filmed by Sasikala when Jayalalithaa was recovering.

After Jayalalithaa's death, the AIADMK split, with Mr Palaniswami and Mr Pannerselvam leading a faction each.  Nearly six months later, there was truce after a power sharing deal was reached, according to which Mr Palaniswami remained chief minister and Mr Pannerselvam was made his deputy. The merger eventually sidelined Ms Sasikala - who is now in jail in a disproportionate assets case - and weakened her grip over the party.

But in December last year, Sasikala's nephew TTV Dhinakaran won the bypoll to R K Nagar - a seat held by Jayalalithaa - as an Independent candidate. 


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