Chennai, Dec 20: A day before the crucial by-poll in the Radhakrishnan Nagar Assembly constituency, sidelined AIADMK leader T.T.V. Dinakaran’s faction on Wednesday triggered a major row by releasing a video clip in which late Tamil Nadu Chief Minister J. Jayalalithaa was seen sitting on her hospital bed, forcing the Election Commission to tell TV channels not to telecast it.
The ruling AIADMK cried foul and asked the poll panel to stop the telecast of the clip that showed Jayalalithaa drinking something from a plastic container, apparently while watching television.
The ruling party contended that the video was released with a “motive” before the high-stakes by-election in the R.K. Nagar Assembly constituency on Thursday and said a case should be filed against those responsible.
There was no indication as to when and where the video was shot.
Fisheries Minister D. Jayakumar alleged that leaking the video clip was a misuse of the proximity enjoyed by the Sasikala family with the late leader, particularly during her last days at the Apollo Hospital.
It was also in violation of election rules, he alleged.
Jayakumar said the video clip, if at all, should have been presented before the judicial commission set up to inquire into the death of Jayalalitha last year. Instead it was done with the by-election in mind.
Rejecting to the minister’s charges, Dinakaran faction spokesperson Thangathamizhchelvan said there was no motive behind the release of the video clip which was shown to dispel allegations that the Sasikala family had a hand in her death.
He also rejected the demand for action on the issue saying the Commission was not taking any action on the distribution of money to the tune of Rs 6,000 per voter in R.K. Nagar by the ruling AIADMK.
If any action was to be taken, it should be against the bribing by the ruling AIADMK, he said.
Dinakaran is contesting as an Independent in the by-election against AIADMK’s Madhusudhanan, DMK’s Marudhu Ganesh and BJP’s Karu Nagarajan among others.
Meanwhile, Returning Officer Praveen Nair told television channels to stop showing the video clip, saying it violated Section 126 of the Representation of the People Act.
The provision bars display of any material by cinematographic or electronic means in areas going to polls on election eve and is a punishable offence.
Vetrivel, a disqualified MLA belonging to the Dinakaran group who released the video clip to the media, denied it had anything to do with the by-election.
“The video was shot by V.K. Sasikala after Jayalalithaa was shifted to a general room from ICU,” Vetrivel told reporters here.
Meanwhile speaking to news agency IANS, AIADMK MP K.C. Palaniswamy stated, “It is for the Apollo Hospital to clarify whether such a room actually exists and whether the video clip is genuine.”
Over a year after Jayalalithaa’s death, P. Vetrivel, belonging to T.T.V. Dinakaran faction, released the video clip on Wednesday.
“The video was shot by (the now jailed) V.K. Sasikala after Jayalalithaa was shifted to a general room from ICU,” Vetrivel told media here.
Visuals of Former TN CM Jayalalithaa, when she was admitted at Chennai's Apollo Hospital (Source: Video released by TTV Dhinakaran's supporter, P.Vetriivel) pic.twitter.com/q1PlZdVr7H
— ANI (@ANI) December 20, 2017
The video was released a day before the crucial by-poll in the Radhakrishnan Nagar Assembly constituency in Chennai. The seat fell vacant after the death of Jayalalithaa.
Sidelined Dinakaran is an Independent candidate in the constituency.
Referring to Apollo Hospitals Group founder and Executive Chairman Prathap C. Reddy’s statement on Saturday that doctors were directed not to reveal that Jayalalithaa’s condition was critical, Palaniswamy demanded to know who advised the doctors.
Jayalalithaa was admitted to Apollo Hospital here on September 11, 2016 and took last breath on December 5.
Reddy asserted the doctors were advised not to announce that Jayalalithaa’s health was critical because it would have become difficult to control mass emotions but he did not say who had advised the doctors, IANS reported.
Earlier, Dinakaran had said that he would release a video clip showing Jayalalithaa in the hospital at an appropriate time.