All is not well with Jayalalithaa

jayalalithaa-pti Tamil Nadu Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa | PTI

Tamil Nadu Chief Minister Jayalalithaa Jeyaram has been admitted to a private hospital in Chennai on Friday after complaining of 'fever and dehydration'. Hospital sources say she is stable and would return home anytime soon.

A medical bulletin issued by the Apollo hospital early in the day said the 68-year-old chief minister took ill last night and was brought to the hospital for further treatment. "The honourable chief minister of Tamil Nadu was admitted to Apollo Hospitals, Chennai with fever and dehydration," the hospital’s Chief Operating Officer Subbiah Viswanathan said in a press statement.

However, sources close to Poes Garden informed that the AIADMK czarina was suffering from breathlessness and was rushed to the hospital. It may be recalled that the chief minister had not been keeping well for the past few months. Jayalalithaa, who used to be brisk and active at public events, is not seen outside much nowadays, except while going to the secretariat. 

At the state secretariat, too, inaugurations are carried out through video conferences with just the touch of a button. When Union minister for urban development, Venkaiah Naidu, flagged off the second stream of Chennai Metro Rail, Jayalaithaa took part in the event through video conferencing. While Naidu was at the airport, where the event was organised, the CM and her officials were at the state secretariat. She flagged off the train via the video. During the launch of the 648 MW solar power project at Kamudhi near Ramanathpauram, set up by the Adani’s, she again chose to attend the event through video conference from the secretariat. 

In a closed party meeting held immediately after the assembly elections, she had sighted health conditions and asked her cadres to work for the party’s victory in local body polls. Jayalalithaa had addressed the assembly, during the month-long budget session in June, from her chair. At meetings, be it a party meeting or a government event, she prefers to sit and does not take the podium to address the gathering. 

Jayalalithaa took over as the chief minister for the fifth time in 2015 after the Karnataka High Court acquitted her in the disproportionate wealth case. Since then rumours about her blood pressure and diabetic levels have been doing the rounds. Speculations about her health started surfacing after she continuously skipped public appearances. The opposition DMK, in 2014, had issued a statement demanding full disclosure of her illnesses. While the party sources bravely defend her, her movements have reduced in the last two months. She restricts herself to the state secretariat and her residence. 

Ever since June 14, after a slew of defamation cases were filed against the media and Dr. Subramanian Swamy for writing about her health, there have not been any reports on the topic. On the other hand, tension prevailed among the party seniors who gathered in front of the Apollo hospital at Greams Road in Chennai. The women cadres were seen calling on the gods and goddesses to help their leader get well soon.

A sense of uncertainty has entered the party circles, as Jayalalithaa's health continues to worry the AIADMK cadres. The top AIADMK circle is jittery after the Supreme Court, in a recent observation on Karnataka’s B.V. Acharya's book, said that the final verdict in Jayalalithaa’s Disproportionate Assets case will be out in four weeks. 

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