Video said to be of late Tamil Nadu chief minister J Jayalalithaa was released by a Vetrivel disqualified MLA of the TTV Dinakaran camp on Wednesday, a day before a by-election to the city’s RK Nagar assembly constituency that fell vacant after the AIADMK leader’s death last December gone viral and caused political tsunami inside Tamilnadu.
P Vetrivel released a 20-second video clip apparently taken by a mobile phone camera to the media purportedly showing Jayalalithaa sitting on a bed at Chennai’s Apollo Hospital and drinking something from a white plastic glass using a straw.
“It’s false that no one met Jayalalithaa in the hospital. There’s video proof. We waited for days before releasing it but released it now as we were left with no option. The inquiry commission hasn’t summoned us yet. If it does, we’ll submit evidence to them,” disclosed Vetrivel in front of jam packed media persons.
“Now I have done this. Let us see what happens,” Vetrivel said when asked if his camp was apprehensive that the video was in violation of the model code of conduct.
The video, he said, was shot by Sasikala and that Dinakaran and he had its copies. Dinakaran had said in the past that he had a video clip and he would release it at an appropriate time.
Vetrivel also questioned the government for not releasing the video, a copy of which it had, and alleged that it did not submit it to the inquiry commission.
The Election Commission took note almost immediately and television news channels reported action might be taken against Vetrivel. Tamil Nadu’s chief electoral officer Rajesh Lakhoni told reporters that the television channels have been asked to immediately stop airing the clip.
Dinakaran Supporters equally harsh on Election Commission move and wondered where they were when huge amount of money been given by Ruling party members.
The AIADMK too upped the ante against the Dinakaran faction for releasing the video.
“The model code of conduct is instated now, therefore we expect the Election Commission to take immediate action against P Vetrivel,” AIADMK’s Fisheries Minister D Jayakumar cried foul.
“It is with the intention of influencing RK Nagar bypoll that the video has been purposefully released. Why it was not released earlier, why one day before polls?” a visibly upset Jayakumar asked.
There were allegations of foul play and fingers were pointed at Sasikala, who is in jail in connection with a corruption case in which Jayalalitha aslo been convicted as criminal for misappropriate asset case.
KS Gita, one of Jayalalithaa’s friends, told a private television channel that “it seems like a fabricated video and was released with a view to garner votes in the by-election tomorrow.”
“I have never seen Gita at all. Who is she?” CR Saraswathi, the Dinakaran camp’s spokesperson, asked.
A leader of the EPS-OPS camp dismissed the video as a gimmick on the eve of elections and said the people will not accept it at all.
VCK leader Thol Thirumavalavan, on the other hand, alleged that it was quite possible for voters to get emotional while voting in the RK Nagar bypoll.
The Bharatiya Janata Party’s Tamil Nadu unit chief Tamilisai Soundarrajan questioned the timing of the release of the video. She said it was an utter insult to the departed leader and added that by releasing the video, they have also violated the confidentiality clause and secrecy of a patient, which is sacrosanct.
“I leave it for the people to judge whether it was a proper thing to do,” she added in a sober tone.
However, this is the first time that any pictorial evidence of Amma, as she was popularly known, in the hospital has come out, even if deliberately released by Dinakaran camp.
DMK working president M.K Stalin has said it is unfortunate using Jayalalitha health admk factions conduct politics.
Earlier during October 2016 with in two weeks after Jayalalitha admission to Apollo DMK patriarch M Karunanidhi had questioned and asked for photographic evidence of Jayalalithaa when she was undergoing treatment at the hospital as well as a white paper on her health condition by Tamilnadu government.
Dinakaran, who fell out of favour with chief minister K Palaniswami and lost the battle for the party’s ‘Two Leaves’ symbol, is fighting as an independent and has expressed confidence that he can spring a surprise against the AIADMK’s E Madhusudhanan as well as the opposition DMK.
The RK Nagar bypoll was earlier scheduled on April 12 but was cancelled following allegations that large sums of money were distributed among voters.
The counting of votes will be held on December 24. The release of video will help Dinakaran will be known once result out.