Judicial probe ordered into former Tamil Nadu CM Jayalalithaa's death
The Tamil Nadu government has ordered a judicial probe into the death of former Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa. Chief Minister Edappadi Palanisamy, by ordering the probe, has given in to the demand placed by O Paneerselvam camp for merger talks.
Announcing the decision in a hurriedly convened press meet at the Secretariat, Palaniswami said the retired judge would be named soon. "Action will be taken in a timely manner," he said, on the terms and tenure of the inquiry panel. The chief minister clarified that based on the requests from various quarters and the public, the state government announced it after thoroughly considering the issue.
Palaniswami said the former chief minister had brought glory to the state with her effective functioning. "Puratchi thalaivi Amma was hospitalized due to illness. She passed away on December 5, not responding to treatment. There were several reports in the media from various organizations and sections," the CM said, detailing the necessity to set up a probe panel. It is one of the primary demands of the O Panneerselvam faction for initiating merger talks.
The government had so far refused to order the probe and had put the onus on the courts to decide. On Thursday, an official communication from the Tamil Nadu chief minister's office said that a commission will be constituted under a retired judge to probe the death of former Tamil Nadu Chief Minister and AIADMK supremo J Jayalalithaa.
The government has also decided to convert Jayalalithaa's Poes Garden residence, Veda Nilayam, into a memorial. This, again, was a demand put forth by O Panneerselvam.
EPS-OPS merger now certain
By agreeing to the demands put forth by the rebel camp, Chief Minister Edappadi Palanisamy has essentially thrown the doors open for the merger of both factions of the AIADMK. With TTV Dinakaran's return, Edappadi Palanisamy's chair was under threat. Dinakaran who is on a statewide tour has been using his public addresses as a platform for a show of strength. With close to 22 MLAs supporting Dinakaran, Palanisamy faced a threat. The move to probe Jayalalithaa's death as well as to convert her residence into a memorial is to woo Panneerselvam camp.
With both their primary demands met, the Panneerselvam camp is now expected to hold merger talks. The move comes on the eve of Sasikala Natarajan's birthday. Dinakaran was scheduled to meet his aunt who is currently lodged at Bengaluru central jail on Friday.
The move comes as a setback to TTV Dinakaran who intended to exercise power over the party. The repercussions of the move are not going to be light. With both EPS and OPS factions coming together, Dinakaran is expected to flex his muscles.