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Jayalalithaa probe gambit in merger endgame

Chief Minister Edappadi K Palaniswami’s surprise announcement may change equations within the party; Veda Nilayam memorial plan could be contested

Published: 18th August 2017 01:30 AM  |   Last Updated: 18th August 2017 07:29 AM   |  A+A-

A file picture of Chief Minister Edappadi K Palaniswami at Jayalalithaa Memorial on the Marina | Express

By Express News Service

Timeline

Following the death of J Jayalalithaa, OPS took over as the chief minister. However, he revolted and Sasikala’s conviction in disproportionate wealth case led to the chaos in the AIADMK. Later, the Election Commission of India froze the party’s Two-Leaves symbol

Initially, Palaniswami had cordial relationship with TTV Dhinakaran, who was appointed the deputy general secretary by Sasikala.  However, after Dhinakaran contested the by-election to RK Nagar, the relationship started showing strains

After the Election Commission postponed the by-election on April 10, the AIADMK (Amma) led by Palaniswami decided to keep away Sasikala family from party to pave way for merger. Meanwhile, Dhinakaran was arrested for allegedly trying to bribe the Election Commission officials

Within a few days of arrest of Dhinakaran, the AIADMK (Amma) formed a seven member committee to hold talks with AIADMK (Puratchi Thalaivi Amma) led by O Panneerselvam for holding merger talks.  Panneerselvam also formed a committee

Edappadi K Palaniswami took the first step last week by adopting a resolution declaring the appointment of Dhinakaran as invalid and now, again he took another step by fulfilling the key demand of O Panneerselvam, thus leaving the ball in his court to make the next move

An iconic residence from where Jaya faced ups and downs of life

Late Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa had lived Veda Nilayam since 1972.  The house warming ceremony took place on May 15, when she was a leading actor in Tamil film industry. Though AIADMK headquarters is near to her residence, Jayalalithaa took many an important political decision at this house and almost all important political leaders have visited this house.

All talks regarding alliance with political parties during the election time took place in this house only. For many years, VK Sasikala, her close aide also stayed in this house. She was arrested from this house in 1996 regarding the disproportionate wealth case. Normally, no many people can go inside this house and it remained fortress till her death. Only few close confidantes had access to this house.  There is a small Vinayaka temple and whenever Jayalalithaa leaving the house, would offer obeisance to the Lord and while returning

Deepa says she will take the govt to court over proposed memorial

J Deepa, niece of the late chief minister J Jayalalithaa, on Thursday took exception to the announcement by Chief Minister Edappadi K Palaniswami that the Poes Garden residence of the late AIADMK leader would be made a government memorial. “I am surprised at the announcement. How can he make such an announcement without consulting us – the legal heirs of Jayalalithaa?  Being the Chief Minister of the State, he should not have done that.

We will take legal action against this move,” Deepa told medipersons. Deepa also charged that VK Sasikala was behind these announcements. “This property was bought by Jayalalithaa’s mother and as such it is our ancestral property.  No one has the right to sell or transfer it,” Deepa said. She also alleged that since the government headed by Palaniswami was on the verge of losing its majority, he was desperately trying to avoid it by making such announcements.

Probe will put to rest unfounded speculations, says Apollo Hospitals

Welcoming the probe announced by Chief Minister Edappadi K Palaniswami on the death of chief minister J Jayalalithaa, the Apollo Hospitals, where she was treated, observed the probe would put to rest unfounded speculations. In a statement, the hospital management said, “It is our greatest regret that despite highest standards of care provided, the late chief minister could not be saved.

It is our sincerest wish that finally the findings of the committee will put to rest all the unfounded speculations.” It also expressed confidence that the inquiry commission would bring to light the outstanding treatment and care she received at the hospital, as well as from senior doctors and experts from Chennai, AIIMS, Delhi, UK, USA and Singapore. Jayalalithaa was admitted to the Apollo Hospitals on Greams Road here on September 22, 2016 and underwent treatment until she breathed her last on December 5.

Chief Minister has only accepted the demand TTV Dhinakaran made a few days ago.  Through this enquiry, the blot on the family of VK Sasikala will be erased. But making the residence of Jayalalithaa a government memorial will only warrant legal issues because government has no right to do so
P Vetrivel, MLA, supporter of TTV Dhinakaran

The ruling faction of the AIADMK is now under a severe political crisis and I see the inquiry commission announcement only in this angle. CPI demands that all property of Jayalalithaa should be taken over by the government
CPI State secretary R Mutharasan

Inquiry Commission not necessary so many months after the death of Jayalalithaa. All doctors and leaders, including Edappadi K Palaniswami, should appear before the inquiry commission
Thanga Thamizh Selvan, a supporter of TTV Dhinakaran

No one can deny there are many doubts among the public regarding the death of Jayalalithaa. So the inquiry commission will clear the air.  Also, declaring the residence of Jayalalithaa as government memorial is a good move. So we welcome the announcements
Thol Thirumavalavan, VCK president

The announcements are the reflection of the mind set of the people.  I hope O Panneerselvam will accept this and come forward to work for the party together with us.  Sasikala is in prison now. So no comments on her. She was elected by the general council and we have no power to remove her from the party position
M Thambidurai, Deputy Speaker of Lok Sabha

Since there are suspicions about the death of Jayalalithaa prevailing among the AIADMK cadre, the enquiry commission is a welcome move. Besides, this will pave the way for the merger of the AIADMK factions
H Raja, BJP national secretary

It is an eyewash and drama to facilitate the merger of both the corrupt factions (of the AIADMK). It is to deceive the people of Tamil Nadu. Chief minister Edappadi Palaniswami must order a CBI inquiry and resign from his position
MK Stalin, working president, DMK

I welcome both the announcements but former minister
KP Munusamy has stressed a CBI probe. Why can’t they order a CBI inquiry?
S Thirunavukkarasar, president, Tamil Nadu Congress Committee

The announcements show that our two main demands have been fulfilled. Hereafter, open talks must be held for the merger
‘Ma Foi’ K Pandiarajan, MLA

What we have been seeking is a CBI probe.
We are not happy with the announcement of inquiry commission
KP Munusamy, former minister

The Chief Minister has been denying the allegations of mystery surrounding the death of Jayalalithaa. What has changed now to announce an inquiry commission?
TKS Elangovan, Rajya Sabha member, DMK

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