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Palaniswami announces inquiry into Jaya's death

Palaniswami announces inquiry into Jaya's death”

After rebelling against the leadership of AIADMK general secretary V.K. Sasikala in February, Panneerselvam, a former chief minister, raised suspicions over the circumstances surrounding Jayalalithaa's death.

In clear signs of a realignment within the faction-ridden AIADMK, Tamil Nadu chief minister Edappadi Palanisami, on Thursday, accepted a key demand of his rival camp led by his predecessor - O Panneerselvam - and announced that an enquiry commission will be formed to probe into the circumstances and cause of J Jayalalithaa's death a year ago.

Palaniswami said that the probe committee will be headed by a retired High Court judge.

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In his reaction, PMK leader Anbumani Ramadoss demanded a CBI probe and described the announcement of an Inquiry Commission as a "part of a political gimmick".

Interestingly, Dinakaran had declared on Monday that he and his family were open for any probe into the death of Amma. She was in the hospital till she passed away on December 5, 2016.

Palaniswami also announced that Poes Garden residence of Jayalalithaa, which was occupied by V K Sasikala before she was lodged in the prison, would be converted into a memorial. Panneerselvam was the caretaker chief minister of Tamil Nadu when Jayalalithaa was in the hospital.

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"Delighted to welcome 2 key moves by #EPS to set up judicial enquiry into Amma's expiry & to convert Veda nilayam into memorial", tweeted former Tamil Nadu minister K. Pandiarajan, who belongs to the Panneerselvam faction.

He alleged that there was a quarrel at Jayalalithaa's Poes Garden home during which she was "pushed down" and collapsed. However, the house that belonged to Jayalalithaa and her mother Sandhya has got many claimants. "Otherwise it will just be an eye-wash", Deepa said in a press briefing here. The judicial probe and the memorial were part of the OPS section's demands for a merger.

The Amma faction headed by Palaniswami had last week removed TTV Dinakaran as AIADMK deputy general secretary, a post given to him hastily by VK Sasikala, the general secretary of the party, as she headed to jail in Bengaluru after being convicted for corruption. Palaniswami and Panneerselvam have been meeting PM Narendra Modi, with their latest meetings being this week.

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