A day after the team of doctors at Chennai's Apollo Hospital, including UK-based Dr Richard Beale, which treated late Tamil Nadu chief minister J Jayalalithaa dispelled rumours around her death, former speaker of the state's Assembly and AIADMK leader PH Pandian alleged foul play in the episode.
Pandian said he, along with many other senior leaders of the party, were concerned over making Jayalalithaa's aide Sasikala Natarajan as the next chief minister of the state -- a decision which was taken recently by the party. Sasikala was supposed to be sworn in on Tuesday (Feb 7) but the ceremony did not take place.
"I strongly oppose Sasikala Natarajan's elevation," Pandian said on Tuesday. "It's because of the blessings of late TN CMs Jayalalithaa and MGR that Sasikala Natarajan's swearing-in ceremony didn't take place," he added.
Tamil Nadu Governor C Vidyasagar Rao is reportedly against a "hasty swearing-in", NDTV reported. He cancelled all his plans in Tamil Nadu and is currently in Mumbai. He is consulting legal experts on whether politically inexperienced and corruption-accused Sasikala can become the chief minister.
Sasikala has no electoral experience and the Supreme Court is expected to announce the verdict on the disproportionate assests case against her and Jayalalithaa who passed away last December.
The court was also petitioned to stop the swearing-in until the verdict was given. Both the AIADMK leaders were arrested and jailed in Bengaluru in 2014 for accumulating wealth beyond their incomes in the 1990s. They had been acquitted but the verdict was challenged in the apex court.
"Sasikala Natarajan doesn't have quality to be AIADMK general secretary and TN CM," he said.
Pandian also revealed that late Jayalalithaa didn't want Natarajan to become the chief minister.
"How can Tamil Nadu government conduct a press meet when the matter is in the court?" Pandian asked while referring to the press meet held on Monday (Feb 6) with the doctors.
He also said that Jayalalithaa's death was unnatural. "I heard she was pushed; probe Sasikala's conduct," he added.