Handloom and Textiles Minister O S Manian: Photo: The Hindu

Following Tamil Nadu Forest Minister Dindigul C Srinivasan’s confession on September 22 regarding the late chief minister Jayaram Jayalalithaa’s health, Handloom and Textiles Minister O S Manian on Wednesday said  ministers only conveyed to the public what they were told by the then state health minister and the Apollo Hospitals’ chairman.

He was quoted as saying, “We were given updates on her health status by [Health Minister] C Vijayabaskar and Apollo Hospitals’ [Pratap C)] Reddy.”

According to PTI, Manian was responding to a question regarding the ministers who had seen Jayalalithaa during her 75 days of hospitalisation from September 22 last year.

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.”

However, on 26 September, Tamil Nadu Cooperation Minister Sellur K Raju contradicted his colleagues who had said no one was allowed to meet her when she was hospitalised. “All the ministers met her,” he reportedly told media without elaborating.

Meanwhile, FirstPost reported that the chief of Apollo Hospital in Chennai, Dr Prathap Reddy, welcomed a judicial probe into the mystery surrounding the death of Jayalalithaa, and said the hospital would cooperate with the official probe. 

Chief Minister EK Palaniswami is setting up an inquiry commission to be headed by a retired high court judge.