#MeToo time in TN cabinet? Minister Jayakumar faces viral audio clip heat


At a time when the ruling AIADMK faction, led by Chief Minister Edappadi K. Palaniswami and Deputy Chief Minister O. Panneerselvam, is facing a slew of corruption cases, yet another controversy has come to haunt the government.

A sensational audio clip, leaked by Jaya Plus which is the mouthpiece of T.T.V. Dhinakaran faction, has landed Tamil Nadu Fisheries Minister D. Jayakumar in soup. In the nine-minute audio clip, a person, who is believed to be the minister, discusses abortion with the mother of an unknown young girl over the phone. The man is heard advising abortion for the unidentified girl, who seems to have been impregnated by him. However, the audio clip is yet to be verified or authenticated by legitimate sources in the ruling AIADMK or Jayakumar himself, who is also the government’s spokesperson. THE WEEK could not independently confirm the veracity of the audio clip.

Coming out strongly against the clip, the minister said it was an attempt to defame him and warned action against those behind the move. Speaking to the media on Monday evening, Jayakumar denied such an incident to have ever happened, and said that the voice in the clip was not his.

The audio clip has gone viral and there are reports which claim that Jayakumar had allegedly impregnated a young girl who came to him with her mother, seeking recommendation for a government job.

In the clip, the man is heard asking the woman to come to his place for talks. He further asks about what happened at the hospital and is heard saying to get the ‘unwanted’ foetus aborted. “Did you go to the hospital you mentioned on the other day? Did you admit her there? What happened? You come to my house. We shall talk,” the man is heard saying, to which the woman replies, “She is at my sister’s house. My sister and my brother are asking how it is that she is carrying a child when you say you went to the minister for recommendation. They are asking me what I can do after aborting this. What do I tell them?”

The man appears to have assured the mother that he would help her get the foetus aborted at a private hospital in Chennai and that he will also speak to the hospital authorities. Minister Jayakumar said it was a morphed audio 24 hours after the clip went viral. He claimed that the audio was released with the intention to defame him by the Sasikala family and Dhinakaran.

“I will file cases against whoever did this to defame me,” said the minister.

However, sources in the AIADMK say the 26-year-old victim allegedly approached the minister last year, asking him to recommend her for a government job. According to sources, she is a BBA graduate and hails from a lower middle class family in north Chennai. After the minister assured to help her with the job, she reportedly met him several times.

The alleged audio clip sent shock waves among the AIADMK seniors and cadres.

birth-certificate The birth certificate that has gone viral

Along with the clip, an alleged birth certificate of a baby boy with the name of J. Sindhuja and D. Jayakumar in the column for the mother and father has also gone viral.