Cheni, Aug 17: In a move aimed at merging the AIADMK factions, Tamil du Chief Minister K. Palaniswami on Thursday announced that a judicial Commission will probe the death of Chief Minister J. Jayalalithaa. And giving into another key demand made for the merger by former Chief Minister O. Panneerselvam, the Chief Minister also said that Jayalalithaa’s famed Poes Garden house in the heart of Cheni will be turned into a memorial.
TN CM announces judicial probe into Jayalalithaa's death
“The government has decided to appoint a Commission of inquiry headed by a retired judge to go into the death of Jayalalithaa as there have been several reports on the circumstances surrounding the death,” he told the media at the Secretariat, flanked by by senior ministers including Fince Minister D. Jayakumar. The plush Poes Garden residence, where Jayalalithaa lived for years, would become a memorial and would be open to the public.
Chief Minister Palaniswamy said the Commission would be headed by a retired High Court judge. Asked what action would be taken on its report, he answered: “Any action can be taken only after it gives its report.” Jayalalithaa died in Apollo Hospital on December 5 last year after prolonged illness. Ever since, there have been hints at foul play over her death, with critics pointing fingers at the now jailed V.K. Sasikala, a close aide of Jayalalithaa and who lived with her.
There was no immediate reaction to the announcement by Panneerselvam, whose revolt against Sasikala’s leadership of the party after Jayalalithaa’s death led to a split in the AIADMK. But his key supporters hailed the decisions. K.P. Munusamy, a senior leader in the Panneerselvam faction, said their group had been demanding a probe by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) into the then Chief Minister’s death and keeping Sasikala and her family members out of the AIADMK. But Munusamy wondered whether a judicial commission would deliver full justice. “It seems the Chief Minister has started acting on his own only now,” K.C. Palaniswamy, a former MP of the AIADMK and a spokesperson of the Panneerselvam faction, told IANS. (IANS)