Tamil Nadu Chief Minister J. Jayalalithaa has always ensured a tight lid on questions about her health, even going to the extent of filing defamation cases against anybody who dares to write on the matter. The media, therefore, has mostly backed off from reporting on the issue. But not the irrepressible Subramanian Swamy.
As the much-feared, much-loved 68-year-old Jayalalithaa remains in hospital for a second day, with her supporters thronging the Apollo Hospital on Greams Lane, Chennai, and fears and rumours abound of her actual condition, Swamy is openly discussing the 68-year-old chief minister's health, tweeting about her ailment, his advice, his opinion of the severity of her condition.
Swamy began by putting up a tweet on Friday advising Jayalalithaa to fly to Singapore for treatment.
JJ should take my advice to charter a plane and go to Singapore for medical attention. We may be opponents but wish her long life and health— Subramanian Swamy (@Swamy39) September 23, 2016
Questioned by his twitter followers, Swamy went on to say that his advice was based on Apollo doctors' advice for nephritis, a kidney ailment.
@nviswam : My suggestion is based on Apollo Doctors' advice for nephritis. It is also good for TN people. It may be too late though.— Subramanian Swamy (@Swamy39) September 23, 2016
There has been in the recent past much speculation about Jayalalithaa's health. Indeed, in the last elections, that she won in a landslide, the DMK had sought to make it a poll issue and force her to reveal her true condition.
On Friday, Apollo Hospitals issued bulletins on her health saying that she had been admitted with high fever and dehydration, conditions that are known to occur in nephritis patients. Although the hospital said she was recovering well, was back to eating her regular diet and even at one point said she would be discharged on Friday afternoon, she continues to be in hospital, ostensibly under observation.
With Jayalalithaa and the AIADMK maintaining a tight lip on her actual condition, though, both worried supporters as well as opposition DMK cadres are indulging in wild speculation.
The latest hospital bulletin, issued around Saturday noon by Apollo Hospitals COO Subbiah Viswanathan, only says that "The honourable Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu is under observation."
It may be recalled that Tamil Nadu's other icon, superstar Rajnikanth, too, had gone to Singapore for treatment of a kidney ailment five years ago and was treated at the Mount Elizabeth Centre, where other big wigs, such as Samajwadi Party politician Amar Singh, have received kidney transplant.