Tamil Nadu Health Minister C Vijayabhaskar on Monday appeared before the one-man commission looking into the hospitalisation and subsequent death of former Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa and recorded his statement.
Though Vijayabhaskar did not throw much light on the proceedings, the lawyer representing V K Sasikala claimed that the minister admitted that he met Jayalalithaa during her 75-day stay at Apollo Hospitals here. Vijayabhaskar is the first minister to testify before the commission that was constituted to dispel doubts on Jayalalithaa’s hospitalisation.
“I answered all questions posed to me during the proceedings. I extended full cooperation to the commission,” the minister told reporters, without divulging any further information. Vijayabhaskar’s appearance came weeks after Health Secretary J Radhakrishnan testified before the commission and shared information available with him on Jayalalithaa’s health and treatment at Apollo Hospitals.
Raja Senthur Pandian, Sasikala’s counsel, told reporters that Vijayabhaskar admitted to having met Jayalalithaa during her hospitalisation. “The minister also said that deputy chief minister O Panneerselvam, who was then the officiating Chief Minister, knew details of the treatment given to Amma (Jayalalithaa),” Pandian said.
Pandian’s claim, if true, is significant since Panneerselvam has alleged more than once that he and his colleagues were kept in the dark about the treatment accorded to Jayalalithaa at Apollo Hospitals by Sasikala family, who took control of the floor where the former chief minister was admitted. In fact, the Commission is a pre-condition that OPS put forth before he merged his faction with AIADMK and joined the Edappadi K Palaniswami government as deputy chief minister.
Panneerselvam is also likely to appear before the commission soon and record his statement.