The body of former Tamil Nadu chief minister J Jayalalithaa at Rajaji Hall in Chennai on December 6, 2016. Photo: The Hindu

Tamil Nadu Forest Minister Dindigul C Srinivasan’s confession on Friday regarding the late chief minister Jayaram Jayalalithaa’s health has led to the opposition seeking an extensive probe into her death.

Seeking forgiveness from the public for lying, Srinivasan reportedly said during a public meeting, “None of us saw Jayalalithaa when she was hospitalized… We were forced to lie. We would have told lies that she had idlis [steamed rice cakes], and people met her. The truth is that nobody saw her.” NDTV reported that Srinivasan was the third All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (AIADMK) veteran to point his finger at the Sasikala camp, after O Panneerselvam and PH Pandian, who had said that Jayalalithaa’s death was “not from natural causes.”

He added, “Even high-profile dignitaries, including Amit Shah and Rahul Gandhi, did not visit Jayalalithaa, but only met the hospital chairman.”

After Sreenivasan’s statements created a buzz, the leader of the opposition party Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam, MK Stalin, on Sunday demanded a Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) probe into the circumstances leading to late chief minister’s hospitalization and her subsequent demise, Times of India reported.

In a statement, Stalin said, “A team of doctors from AIIMS in New Delhi had come to attend on Jayalalithaa and monitor her health. And moreover, Union Health Minister JP Nadda had said the Centre was keeping a watch on her health. Since the central government had assisted in the treatment of Jayalalithaa, it has a responsibility to unravel the mystery surrounding her death. Therefore, using its authority, the Centre should immediately order a CBI probe into the matter.”

Stalin asked how the governor obtained permission on Oct. 11 to hand over Jayalalithaa’s portfolios to O Panneerselvam if she was not allowed visitors, The Hindu reported. “Mr. Sreenivasan had said that when Jayalalithaa was in hospital, no one, including the governor, could see her, and that the claim that she ate idli was false. The speech exposed Deputy Chief Minister O. Panneerselvam, who looked after the portfolios of Jayalalithaa at that time. He also indulged in diversionary tactics.”

“Jayalalithaa reportedly put her thumb impression in Form B allotting the ‘two leaves’ symbol to her party candidates in four constituencies in Tamil Nadu and Puducherry. If no one met her, how was her thumb impression obtained? A case filed by DMK candidate Saravanan questioning this issue is pending in the High Court,” Stalin said.