AIADMK MP PR Sundaram has threatened to "chop off the tongue" of anyone who speaks about his party chief Jayalalithaa's health
A parliamentarian of Tamil Nadu's ruling AIADMK has threatened to cut off the tongue of anyone who comments on Chief Minister Jayalalithaa's health.
PR Sundaram made the remarks while referring to Jayalalithaa's arch rival, DMK chief M Karunanidhi, suggesting recently that she should step down as she was unwell.
"Karunanidhi wants Amma to take rest. What's his age? He's 93 and he says he wants to live for 100 years. He doesn't want to hand over power to his son," sneered Mr Sundaram.
"As an MP I have to be restrained. If anyone speaks about revolutionary leader Amma, his tongue will be cut off," he raged. He was speaking at a public meeting he had organized on Sunday to celebrate Ms Jayalalithaa's recent poll victory.
AIADMK Spokesperson CR Saraswathi later said: "Let me check. The MP could have said it jokingly on stage."
Ms Jayalalithaa's 10-day absence from work earlier this month fueled huge speculation and provoked barbs from rival parties.
While the DMK said the 67-year-old should quit, Congress leader EVKS Ilangovan demanded that the government clarify whether she was unwell. BJP leader Subramanian Swamy tweeted that Ms Jayalalithaa was likely to travel to the US for a surgical procedure. The AIADMK has denied that their leader plans to travel abroad for a liver transplant.
The Chief Minister resumed work on July 15 and in the half hour she spent in office, she gave orders to appoint faculty members in government colleges and used video conferencing to launch schemes.
Ms Jayalalithaa was sworn in on July 4 as a state legislator after she won a by-election with a record margin. That election was needed to formalize her return as Chief Minister; her third term had interrupted when she was jailed on charges of corruption last year, which meant she was disqualified as an elected representative.
After she was acquitted in May, she returned to office. The government of neighbouring Karnataka has appealed against her acquittal in the Supreme Court.