Chennai: The 20-second video clip purportedly showing late Tamil Nadu chief minister J Jayalalithaa in a hospital has not just created ripples in political circles, but has also caused cracks in VK Sasikala’s family.
Although P Vetrivel, the TTV Dinakaran aide who released the video, said he had done it of his own volition and not consulted either Dinakaran or Sasikala, not everyone is convinced. It is being seen as an attempt to sway the voters in the RK Nagar bypoll on Thursday by clearing the air over Jaya’s death.
Krishnapriya, Sasikala's niece, questioned why Dinakaran shared the video with Vetrivel and demanded action be taken against the former MLA for making it public.
She claimed that the video was given by Sasikala to Dinakaran to hand it over to the committee probing Jaya’s death if it wanted. “If the video had to be released for public display, it could have been done long back.”
Refuting reports that it was Sasikala who insisted the video be released to ensure Dinakaran wins, she said, “When she was called a murderer, she didn’t release it. So why will she release it now, especially when the inquiry committee is probing the case. I have a larger question. How did the video that was given to Dinakaran reach Vetrivel and why?”
She added: “Vetrivel has betrayed us. He claims to be an Amma loyalist. If that is so, why did he release it to the public? Who is he to do so? And he does not regret it one bit. He did not get permission from Chinamma to release the video. TTV should have taken action against Vetrivel by now.”
Sasikala's nephew Jeyanand Dhivaraharan, on the other hand, was happy that the video was made public. He said the truth has finally come out.
“Vetrivel released it because he was emotionally attached to Amma. EPS-OPS camp kept insulting the family but the truth has come out now. Vetrivel did it on his own accord and the family did not know about this,” he said.
Asked if there was any rift within the family, he said, “The family is hurt, and hence, have raised their concerns.”
Dhivaran had earlier, too, said the family has videos as evidence to show there was no conspiracy in Jayalalithaa's hospitalisation. Dinakaran had also said he would produce videos to the inquiry committee if need be, but added that the video would not be displayed to public as Jayalalithaa would not have liked people to see her sick and wearing a night gown.
Jayalalithaa was in the hospital for three months last year until she died on December 5. Many had suggested that she was dead when she was brought to the hospital and she had been kept in there for political motives. Meanwhile, the Apollo hospital had said that Jayalalithaa was unconscious when she was brought on September 22.
After her death, the Sasikala camp and the OPS-EPS camp has had a bitter parting. Both parties have considered the RK Nagar bypoll as a test case to claim Jaya's political legacy.