[dropcap color=”#008040″ boxed=”yes” boxed_radius=”8px” class=”” id=””]T[/dropcap]he State of Tamil Nadu, (population 78 million) is facing a serious crisis with a chief minister who cannot sign on official files because of her ill health. Jayaraman Jayalalithaa, chief minister of Tamil Nadu, has been hospitalised since September 22 due to “fever and dehydration”. While the Apollo Hospital management in Chennai where she is undergoing treatment issued half a dozen vaguely worded releases about her health condition, no one in the administration or in the AIADMK, which is controlled by Jayalalithaa, is willing to speak about the status of Jayalalithaa’s health.
A tracheostomy, a surgical procedure in which an opening is made through the front of the neck into the windpipe, is intended to help a patient breathe when normal breathing is not possible.
Saturday saw a Chennai newspaper with leanings to the CPI(M) and Islamic extremists, publishing a news report about Jayalalithaa affixing her left thumb impression on Form B of the Election Commission of India authorising three AIADMK candidates to contest the November 19 assembly election on party symbol. It is mandatory for the party candidates to submit Form B with the signature of the party chief to the election Commission so that they could be allotted the party symbols.
The thumb impression was affixed following the incapability of Jayalalithaa to hold a pen and put her signature on Form B. Dr P Balaji, a senior doctor working with the Madras Medical College, has certified that the thumb impression was affixed in his presence “since the signatory has undergone tracheostomy recently and has an inflamed right hand she is temporarily unable to affix her signature.”
A tracheostomy, a surgical procedure in which an opening is made through the front of the neck into the windpipe, is intended to help a patient breathe when normal breathing is not possible. A tracheostomy is sometimes performed to assist long-term ventilation, said a critical care medicine specialist in New Delhi. “A tracheostomy will not lead to an inflamed right hand – some other underlying condition may have led to the inflammation,” said the doctor.
[dropcap color=”#008040″ boxed=”yes” boxed_radius=”8px” class=”” id=””]A[/dropcap] veteran bureaucrat with more than three decades of experience in governance said the situation in Tamil Nadu is a matter of serious concern for the people. “Whether it is the chief minister or any member in the council of ministers, once a person is seriously ill he/she should be replaced immediately with a person capable of thinking and acting independently till the sick person becomes normal,” he said.
Jayalalithaa has no blood relation staying with her and even her niece, a journalist herself, was not allowed inside the hospital by the people who have surrounded the chief minister.
What is bizarre is that a patient who has been admitted to the hospital due to “fever and dehydration” is treated by an expert team of doctors who were summoned from the All India Institute of Medical Sciences, New Delhi and an intensivist consultant from London who was specially flown in from Britain. This shows that Jayalalithaa’s health is in a bad condition and she is not normal. What adds to the mystery is that nobody other than Sasikala Natarajan, a long term friend who lives with Jayalalithaa in her Poes Garden residence has access to the ward where the chief minister is undergoing treatment. Jayalalithaa has no blood relation staying with her and even her niece, a journalist herself, was not allowed inside the hospital by the people who have surrounded the chief minister.
It is also surprising to note that the Tamil Nadu Government or the hospital has not issued any picture of the hospitalised Jayalalithaa, whom they claim is in the best of health. The media in Chennai and Tamil Nadu are reluctant to publish anything which is unpalatable to the State government as more than sixty criminal defamation cases has been filed against media persons and individuals for publishing / posting unsubstantiated news about the health condition of Jayalalithaa.
The fear among the people of the State is that extra constitutional authorities are wielding power in Tamil Nadu. Meanwhile, political observers based in Chennai have started speculating about the post-Jayalalithaa scenario in Tamil Nadu. It is interesting to note that no person has been designated as number two in the AIADMK to oversee the affairs of the party in the absence of Jayalalithaa.
As on Saturday evening, the grapevine is that Jayalalithaa may be taken to London for advanced treatment as per the recommendations of Dr Richard Beale, the British specialist who was flown in to treat her. The chief minister may proceed to London in a chartered flight by the second week of November, according to sources in Intelligence wings.
In a chat with PGurus, commentators have recommended that President’s Rule for a short period is the best way to go. This suspense must end.
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