Thambidurai appears before Jaya probe panel

Lok Sabha Deputy Speaker and AIADMK senior leader M Thambidurai today appeared before the inquiry commission probing the death of former Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa. Thambidurai appeared before the panel led by Justice Arumughasamy a day after State Health Minister C Vijaya Baskar appeared before it and made submissions.

According to sources, Thambidurai answered to the questions posed at him by the commission. Vijayabaskar told the panel on Monday that he saw Jayalalithaa at close quarters when she was wheeled away for the tracheostomy procedure on October 7, 2016 at Apollo Hospital.

The Minister was both examined and cross examined. Speaking to reporters later, counsel for VK Sasikala, N Raja Senthoor Pandian said that the Minister made this submission related to foreign treatment during cross-examination. The counsel further said that when asked whether any minister at the October 19, 2016 cabinet meeting had spoken about shifting Jayalalithaa abroad for treatment, the Health Minister replied that such a topic did not come up for discussion.

Pandian added: "Vijayabaskar replied that such a topic on shifting her abroad for treatment did not come up at the Cabinet meeting and there was no circumstances to warrant such a discussion." The panel was formed to probe the circumstances that led to the death of Jayalalithaa, who breathed her last on December 5, 2016.