TN minister in ‘abortion’ row

TN minister in ‘abortion’ row

D Jayakumar

A purported telephonic conversation between Fisheries Minister D Jayakumar and an unidentified woman discussing the abortion of her daughter, who she said was impregnated by the top government functionary in the audio clip, has hit the already beleaguered AIADMK dispensation in Tamil Nadu.

The conversation has been aired by Jaya TV of V K Sasikala family from Sunday late night. DH could not independently verify the authenticity of the audio clip.

As the leaked conversation snowballed into a controversy, Jayakumar, who is one of the most prominent faces of the Edappadi K Palaniswami cabinet, termed the audio clip as “fake” and blamed the faction led by Sasikala behind it.

“It is a political conspiracy. Since I have been one of the vehement opponents of the family (Sasikala family), they are resorting to unethical practices to tarnish my image. I reject the audio and I will face the issue legally,” Jayakumar told reporters on Monday when sought his reaction on the audio conversation.

Threatening legal action against Sasikala and her nephew T T V Dhinakaran for “releasing a tampered audio”, Jayakumar said he was ready to face any kind of scrutiny including voice test to check the authenticity of the leaked phone conversation.

Jayakumar is one of the senior ministers of the AIADMK Government and has been a vocal critic of the Sasikala family ever since the party split following the death of J Jayalalithaa in December 2016.

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