'Abortion’ row: TTV faction demands Jayakumar’s ouster

'Abortion’ row: TTV faction demands Jayakumar’s ouster

Tamil Nadu Chief Minister Edapadi K Palaniswami, Deputy Chief Minister O Paneerselvam, Fisheries Minister D Jayakumar (left). PTI file photo

Stepping up its attack, the faction led by AIADMK rebel T T V Dhinakaran on Tuesday demanded ouster of Fisheries Minister D Jayakumar from the Cabinet after the release of a purported telephonic conversation between the top government functionary and a woman discussing her daughter’s abortion.

In the audio clip, which was first aired by Jaya TV owned by the V K Sasikala family, the unidentified woman suggests that Jayakumar, one of the prominent faces of the AIADMK government, impregnated her daughter when she went to meet the minister seeking help.

Latching onto the audio tape and a birth certificate issued by the Chennai Corporation that names Jayakumar as the father of the child, the T T V faction demanded Governor Banwarilal Purohit’s intervention if Chief Minister Edappadi K Palaniswami fails to sack him from the Cabinet.

In the audio, which has gone viral on the social media, the male voice — which resembles that of Jayakumar — is heard telling the woman to go to a hospital and get the foetus aborted.

The unidentified woman is heard telling the male more than once that her family was upset since the girl “came to you seeking recommendation, and we did not expect her to get pregnant.” The male voice in the audio clip, which runs into 10 minutes, repeatedly tells the woman to come and meet him in person.

Two disqualified MLAs — Thanga Tamilselvan and P Vetrivel — led the attack against Jayakumar and alleged that the minister drugged the woman in question, who came to him seeking help, before impregnating her.

“He (Jayakumar) is a habitual offender, and he drugged the woman in question. The safety of the woman and child is in danger. Jayakumar should be sacked from the Cabinet immediately,” Vetrivel told reporters in Chennai. Tamilselvan, who is camping in the tourist town of Courtallam, sought to know why the minister was not forthcoming in denying that the child was not his.

Vetrivel claimed people owing allegiance to Dhinakaran don’t level “baseless allegations” and speak against someone only when they have “strong evidence.” “We have more evidence to prove that Jayakumar impregnated the woman. If Jayakumar is so innocent, is he ready for a DNA test?” he asked.

Jayakumar, who has been a vocal critic of the Sasikala family ever since the party split following the death of J Jayalalithaa in December 2016, on Tuesday, yet again, refuted allegations against him and said he was ready to face any probe in this regard. Separately, the CPM also demanded a detailed probe into allegations against Jayakumar.

The audio tape is the latest controversy to hit the AIADMK government which wakes up to a new crisis every day.

Get a round-up of the day's top stories in your inbox

Check out all newsletters

Get a round-up of the day's top stories in your inbox