[dropcap color=”#008040″ boxed=”yes” boxed_radius=”8px” class=”” id=””]D[/dropcap]r Pratap C Reddy, chairman, Apollo Hospitals told journalists on Friday that Chief Minister Jayaraman Jayalalithaa who has been undergoing treatment in his hospital has completely recovered. “She has completely recovered. She is aware of her surroundings and understands what is going on around her,” said Dr Reddy while speaking to journalists on the sidelines of a function held to release a medical textbook.
There were reports that Jayalalithaa may be flown to London as Dr Richard Beale, the intensivist, was of the view that she needed special treatment which could be provided only in Britain.
“She is completely aware of what is happening. Asks and demands what she wants and I believe, and everybody, even she, is looking forward when she will go home and take back the reins,” said Dr Reddy. Interestingly, this is Dr Reddy’s first interaction with the media ever since the chief minister was admitted to the Apollo Hospitals on September 22 for “fever and dehydration”.
Though the hospital had issued half a dozen releases on the status of the health of the chief minister, there has been no information for the last ten days about her condition. A lot of unconfirmed reports have been appearing in some sections of the media about Jayalalithaa’s condition. A team of medical experts drawn from London and All India Institute of Medical Sciences (New Delhi) have been summoned to take care of the chief minister.
There were reports that Jayalalithaa may be flown to London as Dr Richard Beale, the intensivist, was of the view that she needed special treatment which could be provided only in Britain. Friday morning saw a Chennai-based newspaper coming out with a report that all was well with Jayalalithaa and she may be shifted to a special ward from the critical care unit in three days.
[dropcap color=”#008040″ boxed=”yes” boxed_radius=”8px” class=”” id=””]T[/dropcap]he daily, which enjoys good rapport with Dr Reddy, quoted reliable sources in the hospital as telling that Jayalalithaa would be discharged in three weeks. “Not only she is conscious, but she even wrote down her own menu and is eating her food and not being fed through a tube,” the paper said quoting the source. This is similar to what Dr Reddy told reporters on Friday; “She asks and demands what she wants,” said the doctor.
A political commentator pointed out how the Tamil Nadu government made a U-turn in its approach towards two Central Government initiatives since the hospitalisation of Jayalalithaa.
Last week saw the three AIADMK candidates contesting the assembly polls from the three constituencies in the State submitting nomination papers which had the left thumb impression of Jayalalithaa, the party general secretary, so that the candidates could contest on the party symbol. A government doctor had certified that the thumb impression was affixed in his presence as Jayalalithaa was not in a position to hold the pen because of her ailment.
“I do not completely believe what Dr Reddy had told the media or what has been reported in the Chennai daily. The newspaper in question has lost its credibility long back and is struggling to survive due to loss in readership,” said an intelligence professional in Tamil Nadu. He pointed out that election to the three assembly constituencies are fast approaching and it was essential to sustain the morale of the party cadre. “Lets wait for three or four weeks and see how things unfold,” said the official.
A political commentator pointed out how the Tamil Nadu government made a U-turn in its approach towards two Central Government initiatives since the hospitalisation of Jayalalithaa. “The AIADMK government decided to join the UDAY scheme of the ministry of power and also to implement the National Food Security Act from November 1. Jayalalithaa was vehemently against these schemes. How the Tamil Nadu government decided to follow the directives of the Centre and accept the schemes in toto and that too in the absence of Jayalalithaa is a mystery,” he said.
Jayalalithaa had written many letters to Prime Minister Narendra Modi expressing her reservations with respect to the National Food Security (NFS) Act and UDAY.”In a federal structure like ours where the states are in close and direct contact with the people, the choice of designing and implementing popular welfare schemes is at best left to the states, ” she wrote in one of the letters to Prime Minister Modi.
[dropcap color=”#008040″ boxed=”yes” boxed_radius=”8px” class=”” id=””]S[/dropcap]ources in secretariat told Team PGurus that the AIADMK government was arm twisted by the Centre to implement the NFS Act. It told the State officials that it would discontinue the monthly rice supply which it was offering the state at the rate of Rs 8.30 ($0.12) a kilogram and would charge Rs 22.54 ($0.34) per kg. This definitely would have put an additional annual burden of Rs 2730 crores ($409 million) on Tamil Nadu’s already fragile finances. It is the rice which the Centre issues to Tamil Nadu at the rate of Rs 8.30 per kilogram which is supplied free of cost to 1.92 crore (19.2 million) family card holders. Each cardholder is entitled to 20 kg free rice every month which is subsidised by the Centre though it is the State government which claims the laurels.
The sudden change of mind of the Tamil Nadu government with respect to these two issues has surprised political observers who are familiar with the functioning of the Jayalalithaa-led cabinet.
Though the minister for power announced in New Delhi that the State would join UDAY, the Centre’s flagship programme to turn around the loss making distribution companies, he did not give any satisfactory answer for the volte face by the Tamil Nadu government for the change of mind.
“The union government launched the UDAY scheme to increase the efficiency, control losses and to ensure quality power is available to the people without any interruption. The scheme will ensure turnaround, improve efficiency and will control loss and ensure quality power supply to common people,” Prakash Javadekar, union minister in charge of Tamil Nadu had declared during the 2016 May election.
But Chief Minister Jayalalithaa was totally against the scheme and had deputed two of her colleagues in the council of ministers to “demolish the UDAY claims” by the Centre. The sudden change of mind of the Tamil Nadu government with respect to these two issues has surprised political observers who are familiar with the functioning of the Jayalalithaa-led cabinet. “The fact that the cabinet took two important decisions which are totally against the stance of Jayalalithaa and that too in her absence speak volumes about the health status of the chief minister,” said one of them who did not want his name to be quoted.
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