Pollachi sex scandal triggers outrage among politicians
A Pollachi sex scandal, a case of alleged serial sexual assault and blackmail of scores of women by a gang, suspected to be politically influential in Pollachi, Tamilnadu triggered widespread political and social outrage on Monday. A leaked video of a victim pleading with her tormentors prompted political leaders, led by DMK president M.K. Stalin, to demand an independent and fair probe into the crime.
Acting on a girl’s complaint, the Coimbatore Rural police had on February 25 arrested three youth. Subsequently, on March 5, they picked up K. Thirunavukkarasu, another accused. Mobile phones seized from them allegedly contained over 40 video clips of women being sexually abused. Based on the claims made by Thirunavukkarasu that politically influential persons were also involved in the crime, local units of opposition parties in Pollachi had recently staged a massive protest seeking action. The opposition alleged that ruling party men including those close to Deputy Speaker Pollachi V. Jayaraman were involved in the incident.
On Monday, strongly denying any such links, Mr. Jayaraman told journalists in Chennai that as soon as he learnt of the incident last month, he had called the Coimbatore Rural Superintendent of Police R. Pandiarajan and urged him to take action to book whoever was involved in the sexual assault. “The Pollachi MP had also given a petition to the SP seeking action,” he said, showing photographs published in newspapers.
Mr. Jayaraman alleged that the DMK was using the incident for political gain in an election year. Later he submitted a complaint addressed to the DGP, seeking a probe into the campaign against him. The AIADMK’s Information Technology cell submitted a separate complaint to the police, seeking action against those spreading propaganda against the ruling party and its leaders.
In a related development, the AIADMK leadership expelled A. Nagaraj alias ‘Bar’ Nagaraj, the party’s Pollachi Ward 34 Amma Peravai office-bearer for “indulging in anti-party activities”. Nagaraj and three others were recently arrested on charges of assaulting the brother of a college girl who had complained about the accused blackmailing her after sexually abusing her and filming the act. These four were let out on bail (not the main accused).
Earlier in the day, Mr. Stalin and MDMK leader Vaiko threatened to organise protests if the government and the police failed to act immediately and bring to justice other members of the gang behind the crime. In a statement, Mr. Stalin said the video of the helpless girl crying was unbearable to watch and had shaken the State. “It is highly condemnable that the ruling AIADMK is protecting the culprits. The police have not taken adequate action even though the crimes against girls have been taking place for a long time,” he said.
Mr. Vaiko described the cries as “blood-curdling” and demanded an inquiry in a manner that did not subject the girls and their families to further difficulties and shame. “What is painful is the reports that the ruling AIADMK is trying to protect the culprits. Those who are behind the incident should be brought to book and if the government fails in its duty, we will organise protests,” he said.
PMK founder S. Ramadoss tweeted: “The truth that the Pollachi incident tells us is that there are animals who masquerade as human beings. Young girls should be wary of men who try to snare them in the name of love.” His son and youth wing leader said, the four men who were arrested “cannot be the only ones involved in a crime of this nature. The police should find out everyone involved in this network.”
Central Government has no plan to change reservation policy
The Central government has no plan to do away with quota policy for the Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes in the country, Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh said on Tuesday.
His assurance came a day after violent protests against a Supreme Court order by Dalits claimed nine lives. The court order dilutes a law on preventing atrocities against the marginalised communities in the country.
Speaking in the Lok Sabha, Rajnath Singh said “rumours” were spread that the Union government wanted to end reservation.
“Rumours are being spread about the reservation policy. It is wrong and baseless. I appeal to all political parties to help in maintaining peace and amity in the country,” he said amid noisy protests in the house.
The Minister said that “the government is fully committed to protect the interests of the SCs/STs and that an advisory has been issued to all the states to ensure law and order”.
He said the government has provided all assistance to the states immediately on their request and is in constant touch with them.
Opposition members shouted slogans and were on their feet in protest against the Supreme Court’s March 20 order pertaining to the Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Act, 1989.
Conveying condolences to the families of people who lost their lives during Monday’s protests, Rajnath Singh said “he fully appreciates that there is widespread anger among the people on the Supreme Court order”.
“I wish to inform the house that the government of India was not party in that case. People have taken to the streets. I want to assure them there has been no dilution in law whatsoever by our government. Rather, after coming to power and examining the SC/ST Act, we have taken a decision to strengthen it,” he said.
Rajnath Singh said the then government passed the Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Amendment Act in 1995.
“As per the amendments, new offences were added. It was observed that due to the delay in filing of charge sheets (in cases of atrocities), the victims and witness who were vulnerable were influenced and silenced. In order to protect them, the provision of witness protection was introduced. The compensation payable to the victims was also enhanced,” the Home Minister said.
He said there has been a new provision wherein action against government servants found negligent in implementing the Act will be taken.
Rajnath Singh said the government acted swiftly and had already filed a petition in the top court to seek review of its order.
Trinamool Congress’ Kalyan Banerjee countered this, saying the Additional Solicitor General had given his consent to the Supreme Court’s decision.
Congress leader Jyotiraditya Scindia said the “dilution in the Act has already been done” and the opposition parties “want to discuss it” in the lower house of Parliament.
AIADMK members, meanwhile, created a ruckus and gathered near Speaker Sumitra Mahajan’s podium to demand early constitution of the Cauvery Water Management Board to oversee water-sharing arrangement between Tamil Nadu, Karantaka, Kerala, and Puducherry.
Scindia also raised the issue of no-confidence motion moved by the opposition against the Narendra Modi government.
Parliamentary Affairs Minister Ananth Kumar said the government was ready for a debate on the motion and blamed the Congress for creating disruptions.
“They are trying to halt the democratic process in the house,” Ananth Kumar said. The Speaker said she was unable to proceed with the no-confidence motion notice and adjourned the house for the day.
This is the last week of the budget session that began on January 29 and went into a recess on February 9. The session resumed on March 5 and will conclude on April 6.
The post-break session has been completely washed out amid a logjam in both houses of Parliament. Important Budget bills were passed without debate amid protests.
AIADMK likely to join Modi-led NDA government, major announcement soon
AIADMK, which was part of NDA during 1998-99 and 2004-06 is the third largest party in Lok Sabha after BJP and Congress. It has 50 members in both Houses of Parliament.
AIADMK, which was part of NDA during 1998-99 and 2004-06 is the third largest party in Lok Sabha after BJP and Congress. It has 50 members in both Houses of Parliament.
Days after Nitish Kumar realigned with National Democratic Alliance, it has been reported that the AIADMK might become part of Modi-led NDA government soon.
As per the media reports, senior party leaders of AIADMK would hold a meeting on August 04 to make a final decision and the major announcement is also expected in the first of this month.
While talking to a leading portal, a senior Minister of the EPS government said, “Nothing is as such confirmed. We will discuss on Friday and decide. The proposal has been made (to us) but finally, it is the party’s call.” However, with this coalition, the ruling BJP is reportedly trying to increase its foothold in the Tamil Nadu, as it has only 2.5 per cent vote share in the state.
Meanwhile, it has also been reported that BJP wants to rope in AIADMK to make NDA stronger ahead of 2019 general elections, which will be a great step towards victory.
AIADMK, which was part of NDA during 1998-99 and 2004-06 is the third largest party in Lok Sabha after BJP and Congress. It has 50 members in both Houses of Parliament.
According to the reports, Prime Minister Narendra Modi and BJP chief Amit Shah have reportedly assigned the job of wooing AIADMK to a senior BJP functionary who holds a constitutional post.
The Election Commission on Wednesday froze AIADMK’s ‘two leaves’ symbol, after hearing both the V.K. Sasikala and O. Panneerselvam factions. The two camps will now have to choose fresh symbols for the R.K. Nagar bypoll, nominations for which will close on Thursday. Both factions have also been barred from using the AIADMK party name.
The two sides have been given time till April 17 to submit documents to justify their respective claims for control of the party.
The issue of Sasikala’s appointment as interim general secretary of the party was not included in the hearing and the primary issue was the allotment of the symbol.
O.Panneerselvam upon hearing the decision of the EC, said on Wednesday, “The decision to free the AIADMK’s symbol is shocking. Despite submitting strong evidence before the Election Commission, tt is disappointing that the symbol has been frozen. We will try our best to retrieve the symbol through legal measures.”
T.T.V. Dinakaran, the Sasikala group’s nominee in the R.K. Nagar bypoll said, “it’s temporarily barred. We’ll fight to get the symbol back. We”ll meet and see how to take this issue forward…To go to High Court or the Supreme Court.”
Excerpts from the Election Commission order
(a) Neither of the two groups led by the petitioners (Shri E. Madhusudhanan, Shri O Panneerselvam and Shri S. Semmalai) and the respondents (Smt. V.K. Sasikala and Shri TTV Dhinakaran) shall be permitted to use the name of the party ‘All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam’ simplicitor;
(b) Neither of the aforesaid two groups shall also be permitted to use the symbol ‘Two Leaves’, reserved for ‘All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam’;
(c) Both the groups shall be known by such names as they may choose for their respective groups, showing, if they so desire, linkage with their parent party ‘All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam’; and
(d) Both the groups shall also be allotted such different symbols as they may choose from the list of free symbols notified by the Election Commission for the purposes of the current bye-election.
Sasikala would be awarded life-term if proper probe is conducted into Jayalalithaa’s death
DMK working president MK Stalin on Wednesday dropped a bomb by indicating that VK Sasikala, who is serving a jail term in a disproportionate assets case, may be behind former Tamil Nadu chief minister J Jayalalithaa’s death.
ANI quoted Stalin as saying, “If a proper probe takes place into former Tamil Nadu chief minister J Jayalalithaa’s death, the person ‘who’s in jail for four years’, will be awarded lifetime imprisonment.”
Stalin, who observed a day-long hunger strike to condemn “the murder of democracy” in the Assembly on February 18 when Chief Minister Edappadi K Palaniswami won a trust vote, said the hunger protest was against the benami rule established in Tamil Nadu.
DMK chief Stalin had said on February 19 that passing of trust vote after forcible en-masse eviction of his party legislators from the Assembly was against the traditions and House rules.
He said DMK MLAs were forcibly removed by the Watch and Ward staffers. The fast is being observed to condemn the “murder of democracy.”
Sasikala, 60, Elavarasi and her nephew VK Sudhakaran returned to the prison last week and surrendered to resume the four-year term they were sentenced to after being held guilty of corruption in the two-decades old illegal assets case.
The main convict — Jayalalathaa — passed away on December 5 after a prolonged illness in a private hospital in Chennai.
Sasikala She will be in jail for three years and about 11 months out of the four years sentence awarded by the trial court.
She had earlier spent 21 days in Parappana Agrahara jail after conviction by the trial court in September 2014.
In its 570-page judgement, the apex court had held her guilty of conspiring with late AIADMK supremo Jayalalithaa and “restored in toto” the trial court’s decision in the case.
The trial court had found disproportionate assets worth Rs 53.60 crore, which Jayalalithaa and the three others could not account for. The CBI had alleged that the unaccounted wealth was in the tune of Rs 66.65 crore.
The top court had directed Sasikala and Sudhakaran, Jayalalithaa’s disowned foster son, and Elavarasi, widow of Sasikala’s elder brother, to “forthwith surrender” before the trial court which will “take immediate steps” to ensure that they all “serve out the remainder of sentence awarded to them and take further steps in compliance of this judgement, in accordance with law.”
Sasikala, close aide of Jayalalithaa for almost three decades, had been in the jail in 1996 when the case was registered and later in 2014 after the Special trial court convicted and awarded a four-year sentence with a fine of Rs 10 crore. Jayalalithaa was then awarded four-year jail term, besides a fine of Rs 100 crore.
The proceedings against Jayalalithaa were abated as she breathed her last on December 5 last year.
Jayalalithaa was disqualified following her conviction in the case by the trial court on September 27, 2014, when Special Court Judge Michael D Cunha held her and three others guilty of corruption and awarded four years jail term.
But Justice Kumaraswamy of the Karnataka High Court had set aside the trial court’s judgement and allowed the appeals by all the four convicts holding that the verdict and findings recorded by the trial court convicting her and three others suffers from infirmity and it is not sustainable in law.
The apex court verdict means Sasikala cannot hold public office or contest elections for 10 years, the period of her jail term plus six years after that.
Even as Jayalalithaa lay in state at Rajaji Hall, media discussions and the public discourse were full of speculation about her successor, the fate of the AIADMK, and generally the future of so-called Dravidian parties and politics. The very public references to the age and health of DMK patriarch Karunanidhi, although insensitive and premature, were perhaps inevitable. The stark reality is that today politics in Tamil Nadu is suddenly in a state of flux, and it is impossible to accurately predict the future political configuration of the State, and the consequent effect upon national politics.
DEEPER ROOTS: “For the future, Tamil Nadu’s electorate will expect transformational growth improving upon the past, with benefits of this growth extending to every community.” Picture shows Jayalalithaa at the Secretariat in Chennai, in 2005. — PHOTO: THE HINDU
A long history
The Tamil Nadu political scene has always been dynamic, and ideas and leaders from the State have been pioneers in social inclusion, gender equality and inclusive democracy, in a manner unmatched in India’s political history. Rajaji was our first Indian Governor General, and several stalwarts from Tamil Nadu contributed to the drafting of the Constitution. K. Kamaraj became president of the Indian National Congress, and the maker of Prime Ministers. As Chief Minister, he introduced the midday meal scheme to keep children in school, which was later expanded by M.G. Ramachandran, and is now implemented all over the country, and is the reason why eight out of 10 Tamilians are literate.
Without doubt therefore, Tamil Nadu, both during the Congress years and subsequently under the two “Dravidian” parties, has grown and flourished, and is certainly not some aberration from the national mainstream, because of its distinctive brand of passionate identity politics. Whatever initial separatist ideas may have been articulated by some, decades ago, were quickly set aside by all parties to pursue a distinctive type of issue and identity politics, that yielded the “Dravidian” parties rich dividends. My grandfather Bhakthavatsalam, as Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu, stood firm on the Congress policy of a three-language formula, namely Tamil, Hindi and English, for the State. The DMK fiercely fought the anti-Hindi agitation, and swept him and the Congress out of power in 1967 on the issue of linguistic pride. Today, although there is considerable pride in the glory of the Tamil language, the people of the State have quietly moved on to education in whatever language has the best prospects for jobs and growth. There is still pride, and identification with and love for the language, but there is also a quiet merging with the practical need of the hour. This, then, is the quintessential Tamil spirit.
The fact of a fluid political situation in Tamil Nadu, consequent on the demise of Jayalalithaa, is indubitable. It is an important State, very integral to the national mainstream, with its 39 MPs often deciding which party will rule Delhi. The two main regional parties, DMK and AIADMK, have alternately ruled Tamil Nadu since 1967, with no national party having been able to gain the traction to form a government in the State. Against this background, it would be simplistic in the extreme to argue that cult-driven (with Jayalalithaa or Karunanidhi) or identity politics alone allowed these two parties to hold Tamil Nadu in their thrall for nearly 50 years. The reasons are far more complex, not the least being impressive growth of the State under the Congress and successive DMK, AIADMK governments, and more particularly the successful appeal of the regional parties to linguistic pride, vital issues such as Cauvery waters, Sri Lankan Tamils, etc.
Pan-Indian parties are bound by obvious constraints. Having been an active member of the Congress for over 35 years, until my resignation in 2014, I have experienced these constraints with acute discomfort. There are all too often situations where the national leadership of the party has to take a neutral stand on critical issues, which resonates negatively with the people of the State — for example, on the Cauvery water dispute with Karnataka. Tamil Nadu MPs were often at their wit’s end to explain the stand of the Karnataka Congress or the national leadership to the suffering farmers of Tamil Nadu. The anti-Hindi, linguistic pride issue is another example.
Regional parties, on the other hand, are much closer to the people of the State on these issues. They are able to connect with them aggressively and raise these issues at the national level, and take extreme stands, all of which makes for compelling political gain. No Congress Chief Minister could have possibly fasted on the sands of Marina Beach, as Jayalalithaa once did, to demand setting up of a Cauvery tribunal.
Around the world, the powerful political trend of electorates looking inwards, and closing ranks, is best exemplified by the election of Donald Trump in the U.S. The appeal to close ranks, and exclude, is very potent, and needs to be seriously addressed.
As a nation, it is vital for us to integrate, particularly at a time when the economy is set to be united by a common tax system. It is equally important for all States to continue to be part of national integration, while contemporaneously articulating their legitimate rights in a spirit of cooperative federalism.
Opportunity for national parties
National parties will now see huge possibilities to expand their presence in Tamil Nadu. But the appeal of the regional parties, with their strong organisational and cadre base, is still enormous. Both the two leaves and the rising sun symbols (of the AIADMK and DMK, respectively) are very potent, synonymous with emotion as well as development.
The challenge for the regional parties is to bring order out of seeming confusion. For the AIADMK, it is to stay united and give good governance for the balance of its term, to either establish a credible collective leadership or find a leader who can begin to fill the void left by Jayalalithaa. The DMK, while being a strong opposition and a cadre-driven party, has its own challenges to overcome.
National parties need to first project their commitment and interest in the welfare of the State by clearly articulating their vision for Tamil Nadu, and while doing so manage the contradictions of pan-Indian policy-making with local imperatives. They next have to involve their State units in decision-making and project loyal and committed local leaders of promise who would be acceptable to their cadres and the people.
Till now, the democratic and egalitarian achievements of Tamil Nadu’s polity have been impressive. For the future, its electorate will expect transformational growth improving upon the past, with benefits of this growth extending to every community, particularly Dalits who are 21 per cent of the population. In order to find greater space in Tamil Nadu, national parties will have to work carefully upon their social engineering strategy, while regional parties will have to reconsider and tweak their own. Caste and social engineering play a seminal role in Tamil Nadu politics. It is also a State where intense religiosity has coexisted with atheism for decades. Religious places are filled with worshippers, and whether religion will now impact politics remains to be seen. Ultimately, along with these considerations, political parties which hope to remain relevant will have to work on an inclusive development vision to carry forward Tamil Nadu’s impressive track record. The field is wide open.
Jayanthi Natarajan is a former Union Minister, and a political activist.
AIADMK cadres wait anxiously outside the Apollo Hospitals in Chennai. | Photo Credit: R. Aditi
AIADMK leaders to meet at party office at 6pm today
Jayalalithaa’s situation- Tamil Nadu Chief Minister and AIADMK leader Jayalalithaa, who was shifted back to the Intensive Care Unit (ICU) of the Apollo Hospitals in Chennai after she suffered a cardiac arrest on Sunday evening, is “very critical”, and she is on ECMO and other life support systems, according to the latest medical bulletin issued by the Apollo Hospitals on Monday.
Hundreds of party supporters were seen around the hospital. AIADMK leaders, MLAs and key executives, including Chief Secretary, are present on the hospital premises. According to sources, the AIADMK leaders will be meeting at the party office at around 6 p.m.
Jayalalithaa suffers cardiac arrest; ‘very critical’ says Apollo Hospitals
Eminent doctors from AIIMS will be visiting Apollo later in the day
Kerala, Karnataka stop plying their buses to Tamil Nadu
Over 15,000 police personnel and 1500 CRPF personnel have been deployed
The hospital premises is being flooded with AIADMK leaders and party workers.
Here are the updates:
“HAVE FAITH IN THE TREATMENT”
Tamil Nadu BJP leader Tamilisai Soundararajan says,
“Jayalalitha is a successful and bold leader who has overcome many struggles. All leaders of BJP have been enquiring about her health, the centre will always support. I cancelled my trip to Germany yesterday after I heard about her cardiac arrest. We must all have faith in the treatment given by the hospital.”
SHE IS A VERY BRAVE LADY: VAIKO
MDMK leader Vaiko speaks to the press assembled outside Apollo:
“She is a very brave lady, she came out of septicaemia which is rare. Her work for the welfare of Tamil people will be engraved forever. Few people are trying to use this opportunity to form government, this will not happen. I wish her speedy recovery.”
ALL ROADS LEAD TO APOLLO FOR AIADMK CADRES
Hundreds of cadres lined the streets around Apollo Hospitals since early Monday morning. Some of the bylanes leading to the hospital were blocked, while others were choked with traffic. Outpatients in private vehicles and ambulances struggled to get through Greams Lane as cadres, heavy police presence and media personnel occupied most of the road space.
The cadres got briefly agitated and emotional soon after the hospital released a bulletin stating the Chief Minister was “very critical.”
A group of women loyalists who had come from Royapuram said they had been waiting since late on Sunday night. “We just want her to get better and come back to her position as Chief Minister,” they said.
RICHARD BEALE STATEMENT
The situation is extremely grave, but I can confirm that everything possible is being done to give her the best chance, says Richard Beale, the London-based doctor who was treating Ms. Jayalalithaa.
A group of AIADMK cadres, including V.Senthil, AIADMK Junction branch secretary, ate mansoru, a ritual where food is eaten on the floor, at the Vazhividu Vel Murugan Temple near Railway Junction in Tiruchi.
”Dhanvanthri Japam” was performed at Srirangam Sri Ranganathswamy Temple.
READY TO HELP: CENTRE
A day after the Chief Minister’s health condition continued to remain critical, the Centre said there were adequate central forces available in the State.
Minister of State (Home) Kiren Rijiju told reporters outside Parliament that the convention was that the Centre could not send forces on its own and a request has to come from the State government.
“The practice is if there is a situation in the State and the State find themselves inadequate to maintain the law and order situation, then the Centre is always willing to send extra forces. It is our primary duty to ensure that the State is being helped in all possible ways they require. But we cannot Intervene on our own,” Mr. Rijiju said.
He avoided a reply when asked whether the State government had requested for Central forces anticipating law and order problem in the State.
MINISTERS VISIT HOSPITAL
Senior AIADMK leader Panruti S. Ramachandran on Monday said his leader Jayalalithaa “is improving.” He, along with several Ministers, visited the hospital hours after she was moved back to the ICU after suffering a cardiac arrest.
Tamil Nadu Congress Committee chief Su. Thirunavukarasar, who visited the hospital, said he met the Chief Secretary and Ministers.
SECURITY UP ON KERALA-TN BORDER
The Kerala police have tightened security in the border districts of Thiruvananthapuram, Kollam, Idukki and Palakkad.
The police also cordoned off certain areas in the famed Sabarimala temple, using ropes to ensure that no untoward incidents occur.
The KSRTC stopped playing buses to Tamil Nadu from 12.15 pm, operating services up to Parasalai in Kerala.
However, Tamil Nadu is operating its inter-state bus services.
AIADMK MEMBERS DIE
Neelagandan (40), an AIADMK functionary of Samiyarpettai near Nellikuppam in Cuddalore district dies allegedly of cardiac arrest after he came to know about Jayalalithaa’s health condition on TV, reports Rajesh Nair, our Cuddalore correspondent.
A 38-year-old AIADMK worker, Raju, residing at Manickampalayam Slum Board locality in Erode, died of heart attack due to shock over the chief minister’s critical condition, reports V.S. Palaniappan.
AIADMK LEADERS ARRIVE
Senior AIADMK leaders, including Panrutti. S. Ramachandran and D. Jayakumar, move inside the hospital.
AIIMS DOCTORS LEAVE FOR CHENNAI
A team of experts from Delhi are on their way to Chennai to assist with Ms. Jayalalithaa’s treatment.
Union Health Minister J.P.Nadda tells journalists in New Delhi that the team comprised eminent cardiologists.
It is learnt that the team of Dr. Rajiv Narang, Dr.Anjan Trikha, Dr.G. C. Khilani (both of whom have consulted on the case earlier) and Dr. V. Devagourou – is on the way to the Apollo Hospitals.
To prevent any untoward incident in Bengaluru, the police have enhanced security in the garden city.
Karnataka State Road Transport Corporation (KSRTC) officials said that all the 450 services to Tamil Nadu are being run only till Attibele. “It is a temporary measure and we are closely watching what is happening in Tamil Nadu,” said a KSRTC official.
Security has been tightened around offices of political parties, including the DMK. Otherwise, it’s business as usual in Chennai. Public transport, including bus and autorickshaws were plying. Shops and offices are open. Traffic is also normal.
Most of the schools and colleges are open in the city. University of Madras has dispelled rumours that examinations have been postponed. In fact, the university had not scheduled any examination for the day. While the semester exams have already ended three days back, the examination for Distance Education programmes are yet to begin.
The Registrar of Anna University clarified that Monday’s examinations will be conducted as per schedule.
LEADERS SEND MESSAGES
Political leaders cutting across party lines have wished Ms. Jayalalithaa a speedy recovery.
A source in Apollo Hospitals told The Hindu that all doctors have been asked to report for duty on Monday. It is, however, unclear that the instruction has got anything to do with the Tamil Nadu Chief Minister’s health condition.
AIADMK leader and actor Sarath Kumar visits the hospital and informs the media that his leader will be fine soon.
Police on alert outside Apollo Hospitals, Chennai. Photo: Sangeetha Kandavel
As news of Ms. Jayalalithaa’s health setback spread, many people cancelled journeys. Queues were seen at fuel stations, ATMs and shops.
RAF PERSONNEL KEPT ON STAND-BY
Nine companies of the Rapid Action Force (RAF) of the CRPF have been put on stand-by to be immediately airlifted from various places in the country to Tamil Nadu, if needed, senior CRPF officials said. A RAF company comprises around 100 personnel.
ANNA UNIVERSITY EXAMS AS PER SCHEDULE
All Anna University Examinations on December 5 will be conducted as per schedule, confirms University registrar.
MINISTER’S WISH FOR CM’S RECOVERY
Venkaiah Naidu Union Minister for Urban Development, Housing & Urban Poverty Alleviation tweeted.
Got to know about Tamil Nadu CM #Jayalalithaa ji’s health. Maharashtra prays for her speedy recovery !, tweeted Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis.
WORRIED ABOUT HEALTH OF CM, SAYS LALU PRASAD
Totally worried about the health of Jayalalithaa Ji. Wishing and Praying for speedy recovery. Let’s all pray for her.
MAMATA BANERJEE OFFERS PRAYERS
Very concerned about the health of Jayalalitha Ji. Like my friends in Tamil Nadu, I am praying for her speedy recovery. May God bless her, tweeted West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee.
RAHUL GANDHI WISHES SPEEDY RECOVERY
POLICE FORCES MOBILISED
The Director General of Police has ordered the mobilisation of all officers in the rank of Superintendent of Police as well as police personnel of other ranks (Enforcement, CB CID, Economic Offences Wing, Crime Wing). They have been asked to report to their respective District SPs/ Commissioner of Police at 7 am on Monday. They have been ordered to report in full uniform with their vehicles for law and order bandobast duty until further orders.
The entire police strength, including companies of the Armed Reserve and Tamil Nadu Special Police, was being mobilised as a precautionary measure. Though no formal request was made yet, companies of the Central Reserve Police Force in Tamil Nadu and neighbouring States were put on alert, the sources said.
KARUNANIDHI, STALIN WISH CM SPEEDY RECOVERY
DMK chief Karunanidhi and party treasurer M.K.Stalin wish the CM a speedy recovery.
SCHOOLS WILL OPERATE TODAY
Principal Secretary, Education Department, confirms that no announcement has been made so far on closure of schools on Monday
VIOLENCE BREAKS OUT
Scuffle between partymen and police; partymen attempt to enter hospital premises
TN GOVERNOR REACHES APOLLO
Maharashtra Governor Ch. Vidyasagar Rao, who is holding additional charge of Tamil Nadu, arrivs at the hospital. The Governor was in the hospital for a few minutes.
Tamil Nadu Governor Ch. Vidyasagar Rao at Apollo Hospitals on Sunday.
RAJNATH SINGH ENQUIRES ABOUT HEALTH
Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh spoke to Ch. Vidyasagar Rao on Sunday evening and enquired about health of Ms. Jayalalithaa.
NO REQUEST FOR CENTRAL FORCES YET
As of 11 pm, no request by Tamil Nadu to send Central forces, said a senior MHA official to The Hindu. Director General of CRPF K.Durga Prasad said that he has not received any instructions yet from the Home Ministry to rush to Chennai.
Distressed to hear about CM Jayalalithaa suffering a cardiac arrest, my prayers for her speedy recovery #PresidentMukherjee
MINISTERS PRESENT AT HOSPITAL PREMISES
Following news of the Chief Minister’s ill health, violence broke out at the hospital entrance on Sunday night. Housing Minister Udumalai Radhakrishnan, PWD Minister Edappadi K. Palaniswami, Electricity Minister P. Thangamani, Transport Minister M.R. Vijaya Baskar were among those present at the hospital.
Several State Ministers, the Chief Secretary and top bureaucrats rushed to the hospital while Tamil Nadu Director-General of Police T.K. Rajendran who was in Madurai for a review meeting air-dashed to Chennai, advancing his scheduled trip. An emergency meeting was called at the police headquarters late on Sunday.
PEOPLE OFFER PRAYERS
AIADMK cadre in tears in front of Apollo Hospitals in Chennai.
Our prayers are with her and we hope she will recover soon. We request all of you to pray for her good health and well being. #GodblessAmma
A late evening press released issued by Apollo Hospitals COO Subbiah Viswanathan said, the Chief Minister “suffered a cardiac arrest this evening. She is being treated and monitored by a team of experts including cardiologists, pulmonologist and the critical care specialists.”
A meeting with Jayalalithaa helped win candidature for US presidency,Hillary Clinton
An AIADMK MLA took the `devotion` to J Jayalalithaa to a new level when he said the Tamil Nadu Chief Minister inspired Hillary Clinton to make history by becoming the first female presidential nominee from any major political party in the US.
Speaking in the Tamil Nadu Assembly, Coonoor MLA A Ramu on Tuesday insisted that Hillary won the Democratic candidature only after she had met Amma in 2011.
The legislator said the historical meeting between Jayalalithaa and Hillary five years ago became the ‘pillayar suzhi’ (a symbol or a lucky omen).
“The historical change (for a woman to contest) in the US started in Tamil Nadu and it is a proud moment for all of us. Our Amma is the reason for a woman to contest for the first time in the US,” said Ramu.
“Today, the world is celebrating this meeting for its historical importance. During the meeting, Hillary understood Amma’s personality and was awestruck by her proficiency in English and her encouragement. Finally, accepting the assuring words of respected Amma, an overwhelmed US Secretary of State went back to become the presidential candidate. I would like to record that the reason for this is respected Amma,” Ramu said.
In Tamil Nadu politics, many instances of such levels of sycophancy have been recorded in the past.
I am indebted to people of Tamil Nadu: Jayalalithaa
Tamil Nadu Chief Minister J. Jayaalithaa said on Thursday that she was “indebted” to the people of Tamil Nadu for re-electing the AIADMK to power in assembly elections. “I am overwhelmed by the resounding victory given by the people of Tamil Nadu. My party and I are indebted to the people of Tamil Nadu,” she said as the AIADMK proved exit polls wrong by retaining power. “After 1984, no ruling party in the state has been able to win an election and form the government for a successive term,” she said.
The chief minister said she would show gratitude to the people of Tamil Nadu by working with renewed vigour and fulfilling the election promises.
On an emotive note, she said there was no word in dictionary to describe her feelings about the AIADMK win. The victory “is truly historic”.
Jayalalithaa said she had no other interest in life other than working for the betterment of Tamil Nadu. She said the people had shown faith in her. “I also have faith in them. I am by the people and for the people.” She said she believed in God and had an alliance with the people. “I did not have any mega political alliance.”
BJP takes Assam, Left Kerala, Trinamool and AIADMK retain power
West Bengal’s ruling Trinamool Congress on Thursday crushed the opposition and Tamil Nadu’s AIADMK proved exit polls wrong by retaining power in assembly elections, the biggest popularity test after the 2014 Lok Sabha polls. The BJP stormed to power in Assam while the Left made a comeback in Kerala amid a washout in West Bengal.
The Congress was the worst hit in the five-state election, losing power both in Assam, which it had ruled for 15 long years, and Kerala, where it was confident of winning its second term. The Congress-DMK alliance was, however, ahead of the ruling All India N.R. Congress in Puducherry.
The Bharatiya Janata Party also made history in Kerala where its veteran O. Rajagopal, 86, was elected from Nemom in Thiruvananthapuram. He will be the first ever BJP member in the Kerala assembly.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi promptly congratulated West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee and her Tamil Nadu counterpart J. Jayalalithaa. “Across India, people are placing their faith in (the) BJP and see it as the party that can usher in all-round and inclusive development,” he tweeted.
Riding on the development plank, Banerjee led the Trinamool to a landslide win, leading in 214 or more than two-thirds of the seats in the 294-member Bengal assembly.
The Congress-Left combine, which had hoped to unseat Banerjee, was left gasping. The Congress was poised to win 44 seats while the Left, headed by the CPI-M, just 30 seats, a far cry from the times it had vice-like grip over West Bengal.
As Trinamool supporters celebrated wildly, Banerjee said a campaign of slander and lies led to her party’s sweeping win. “People do not like such campaigns. There were all sorts of alliances against us. But people have ultimately made their choice.
“This is for the first time in 49 years that such a massive mandate has been given to a single party,” said Banerjee, whose party hopes to win a whopping 212 seats.
Tamil Nadu produced a spectacular result. The AIADMK was set to grab 126 of the 234 seats, leaving the DMK-Congress combine with 102 seats, but far more than what it won in 2011. Almost all other parties were wiped out.
An elated Jayalalithaa said: “There are not enough words in dictionary to adequately express my feelings of gratitude to the people of Tamil Nadu.” Most exit polls had predicted that the AIADMK would be unseated. There were noisy celebrations outside Jayalalithaa’s residence in Chennai. Holding her portraits, supporters danced to music and burst firecrackers.
But Chennai, battered by floods in December, dumped the AIADMK. Its candidates trailed in 12 of the 16 constituencies. Jayalalithaa, however, was set to win from Radhakrishnan Nagar in the city. In a much-awaited victory, the BJP was poised to take power in Assam, with its candidates and allies leading in 85 of the 126 seats.
The stunning performance buried the Congress, which is set to win only 24 seats. The All India United Democratic Front (AIUDF), which had hoped to play the kingmaker if there was a hung verdict, led in 13 constituencies.
A beaming Sarbananda Sonowal, who will be Assam’s chief minister, said that sealing the winding India-Bangladesh border to end infiltration would be his government’s major challenge.
Keeping alive Kerala’s tradition of ousting the government in every election, the Congress-led UDF suffered a stunning rout, which its leader and Chief Minister Oommen Chandy said he had never expected. The Left Democratic Front (LDF) was leading in 91 of the 140 seats and the UDF in 47.
“This is a vote against the corrupt and those who failed to protect the dignity of women,” said CPI-M leader and former chief minister V.S. Achuthanandan. An independent was also on the winning track.
An apparently shattered Congress vice president Rahul Gandhi said the party will work “harder” to gain the trust of the people. “We will work harder till we win the confidence and trust of the people,” he tweeted after the Congress was voted out in Assam and Kerala.