Steroids Took A Heavy Toll On Jayalalithaa’s Health,  Probe Panel Told.Jayalalithaa

The health of former Tamil Nadu Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa, who died on 5 December 2016, was affected badly as she was administered a large dosage of steroids, the one man Justice Arumugasamy Commission has been told. Deposing before the commission, Dr Sankar, an acupuncture specialist, said the former chief minister’s health had worsened due to this, though she had responded well to his acupuncture treatment.

Dr Sivakumar, one of the doctors responsible for the former chief minister’s treatment before and after her hospitalisation, said that two weeks before she could be hospitalised on 22 September 2016, Jayalalithaa was administered steroids for a skin infection, reported Tamil daily Dinamalar quoting sources in the commission. However, there was no way the steroids could have affected her health, he contended deposing before the commission on Wednesday (14 March).

Sivakumar was called to depose before the commission, set up by the E Palaniswami (EPS) All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (AIADMK) government to probe into the death of Jayalalithaa. An inquiry into her death was one of the conditions on which the party’s estranged leader O Panneerselvam (OPS) rejoined AIADMK after EPS fell out with TTV Dinakaran, nephew of Jayalalithaa’s aide Sasikala. Sivakumar, nephew of Sasikala who is now in a Bengaluru jail for accumulating assets disproportionate to her known sources of income, was responding to questions by the commission on the treatment given to Jayalalithaa between 22 and 26 September.

Sivakumar said that the former chief minister was suffering from mild fever two days before she was hospitalised. She suddenly collapsed after which it was decided to hospitalise her.

Sivakumar, who had deposed before the commission on 8 January this year, will have to appear again before the commission at a later date.

Jayalalithaa, who had been unwell since September 2015, helped the AIADMK ride back to power in the May 2016 elections to the State Assembly. Her health deteriorated in September after she was hospitalised until her death on 5 December, 2016. Her death saw the AIADMK split first between OPS and the Sasikala faction, which elected EPS as the State Chief Minister. With T T V Dinakaran nursing ambition to become the chief minister and wanting EPS to quit, the party underwent another split but it also saw OPS patching up with EPS.

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