CHENNAI: In an unexpected move that led to heated discussions on its possible political impact, Congress scion Rahul Gandhi paid a surprise visit to Apollo Hospital in Chennai to call on Tamil Nadu Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa, who has been undergoing treatment there for over a fortnight.
“I wanted to give my support and that of the Congress president [Sonia Gandhi]. The chief minister is improving, she is going to be alright,” Rahul told the waiting media in a brief interaction.
A string of leaders have visited the hospital over the past few days, but Rahul’s visit today was unexpected. It was nearly 11 am when the media got the information that he was visiting the hospital. The security at the premises was beefed up almost immediately, with police erecting barricades to keep the public and media at bay.
It is not yet clear if there is any political considerations to the visit, other than a reach out effort for long-term strategies. Interestingly, the man who is believed to organised this, TNCC president S Thirunavukkarasu, is a former AIADMK man before shifting camps many times. He was the lone leader from the local unit who stood next to Rahul when he addressed the media.
Rahul was closeted with AIADMK leaders and doctors for about 35 minutes before emerging at 12.25 pm.