Day before RK Nagar bypoll, new video clip of Jayalalithaa emerges2 min read . Updated: 20 Dec 2017, 11:41 PM IST
AIADMK's rival T.T.V. Dhinakaran camp releases a video purportedly showing late chief minister J. Jayalalithaa in a hospital, a day ahead of the RK Nagar bypoll
Chennai: A supporter of independent candidate T.T.V. Dhinakaran on Wednesday released a video of late Tamil Nadu chief minister J. Jayalalithaa in sickbed on the eve of bypolls to her constituency RK Nagar, prompting election authorities to immediately ban media groups from showing the clip that it said may impact the outcome of the election.
The video was released by P. Vetrivel, a disqualified legislator and supporter of T.T.V. Dhinakaran, a sidelined leader of the ruling All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam’s (AIADMK’s) and candidate in the byelection.
Vetrivel claimed the video was shot at the Apollo Hospital in Chennai where Jayalalithaa was hospitalized for 75 days until her death on 5 December 2016.
Though Vetrivel didn’t say why he was releasing the video, he claimed that it was shot on a mobile phone by Jayalalithaa’s confidante and Dhinakaran’s jailed aunt V.K. Sasikala after she was shifted out of the critical care unit.
Within hours of the release, the returning officer for RK Nagar constituency Praveen P. Nair, directed media houses to stop showing it, saying it broke the law on campaigning.
A statement from the returning officer said: “This telecast is in violation of Section 126 (1) (b) of the Representation of the People Act, 1951, which prohibits the display of any election matter, inter-alia, on TV during the period of 48 hours fixed for conclusion of poll."
The Election Commission requested all media houses to stop the telecast of the video footage as it “may directly or indirectly have any impact on the forthcoming elections or any discussion relating thereto adhering to model code of conduct."
The returning officer requested the deputy commissioner of police of New Washermanpet, “to file a complaint under Section 126 of the Representation of the People Act, 1951 against Vetrivel."
The video comes at a time when retired high court judge A. Arumugasamy is heading the investigation committee on Jayalalithaa’s death. The committee is expected to submit a report by the end of this month.
Last week, Apollo Hospitals founder chairman Prathap C. Reddy claimed that Jayalalithaa’s health was critical when she was brought to the hospital in September 2016 and that regular press statements and bulletins were released keeping in mind the law and order situation.
The video released on Wednesday is seen as an attempt to counter allegations by the AIADMK against Sasikala and her family over Jayalalithaa’s death.
In September this year, Dhinakaran said that his aunt Sasikala had shot a video of Jayalalithaa at Apollo. “Amma (Jayalalithaa) had lost a lot of weight," he said.
Dhinakaran had then claimed that the video wasn’t released as Jayalalithaa was in a nightwear, adding, “We are ready to submit it at an appropriate time (during the inquiry)."
However, on Wednesday, the release of the video also brought out the differences in Sasikala’s family. Sasikala’s niece J. Krishnapriya condemned Vetrivel, saying Sasikala wanted the video to be submitted only to the inquiry commission.
Adding that the video was shot by Sasikala on the instructions of Jayalalithaa, Krishnapriya asked, “How did Vetrivel get the video which was in possession of Dhinakaran?"
Fisheries minister D. Jayakumar said the video should have been submitted to the judicial commission that is probing Jayalalithaa’s death and urged the EC to take action against Vetrivel.
The election is widely expected to be a triangular contest between AIADMK presidium chairman E. Madhusudhanan, opposition DMK’s M. Maruthuganesh and Dhinakaran, who is fighting as an independent.