New Delhi: J Jayalalithaa had refused to go to hospital after she collapsed in the washroom of her Chennai home on September 22, 2016, her long-time companion VK Sasikala has told a retired judge investigating the death of the former Tamil Nadu chief minister.
- She passed out and I called the doctor for an ambulance, Sasikala says
- O Panneerselvam, M Thambidurai met Jayalalithaa in hospital: Sasikala
- Jayalalithaa videographed in lucid state 4 times in hospital, she says
Ms Sasikala has also said that Jayalalithaa was videographed in a lucid state four times in hospital and senior AIADMK leaders including O Panneerselvam and M Thambidurai met her; both leaders have said they were denied access to Jayalalithaa in her three months in hospital.
Two security officers also met and spoke with Jayalalithaa, claims Ms Sasikala, who was among the few allowed near the charismatic actor-turned-politician in her last days.
The document was submitted last week to Justice A Arumughaswamy, a former high court judge asked to inquire into the circumstances of Jayalalithaa's death.
Ms Sasikala, sidelined last year as AIADMK chief, is serving a four-year jail sentence for corruption. She says Jayalalithaa - she refers to her as Akka or big sister - "regained consciousness on the way to the hospital and asked where she was being taken".
Jayalalithaa was unwell on September 22 and was severely stressed by her conviction in a corruption case, Ms Sasikala's affidavit says.
Around 9.30 pm, she fell unconscious in the washroom on the first floor of her sprawling Poes Garden residence in Chennai.
"She called out to me for help. I suggested going to hospital, but she refused. She passed out and I called the doctor for an ambulance," Ms Sasikala claims.
The doctor was KS Sivakumar, Ms Sasikala's relative.
The 55-page affidavit lists the people who saw Jayalalithaa in hospital. Among them is governor CH Vidyasagar Rao, who writes in his memoir that on October 22 he saw the AIADMK chief through a glass screen and she waved at him.
Jayalalithaa died in the Apollo hospital in Chennai on December 5 2016, amid questions fueled by the secrecy surrounding her condition and limited access to the 68-year-old.
Soon after her death, Ms Sasikala took over as party chief and ordered O Panneerselvam, a Jayalalithaa loyalist she had installed as interim chief minister, to step aside for her.
A section led by Mr Panneerselvam or OPS revolted and demanded an investigation into how Jayalalithaa died, implying a "conspiracy" involving Sasikala and her nephew TTV Dhinakaran. To counter the allegation, a Dhinakaran supporter released a video in December, in which Jayalalithaa was seen sitting on her hospital bed in nightclothes, sipping a drink while apparently watching TV.
E Palaniswami or EPS, who was appointed chief minister by Sasikala before she went to jail, set up an inquiry to facilitate the return of the rebel OPS faction into the ruling party.