Jayalalithaa's 'coffin' used to canvass for votes: PIL filed against OPS ally K Pandiarajan

Former Tamil Nadu chief minister O Panneerselvam, who was found using a statue of former AIADMK party leader J Jayalalithaa – decked up in a coffin – to campaign for votes ahead of the RK Nagar byelection, is now finding himself in a sea of trouble. An FIR was filed against the AIADMK (Puratchi Thalaivi Amma) faction and its leader, K Pandiarajan, for the stunt he pulled last week.

AIADMK's O Panneerselvam held a rally with a statue that looked like Jayalalithaa's corpse.

O Panneerselvam held a rally with a statue that looked like Jayalalithaa's corpse.

According to a report in India Today, the statue was being used in a mock funeral organised by the Panneerselvam camp, both to campaign for votes and stress upon the need to probe into the death of the five-time chief minister of Tamil Nadu. But, after members of the rival Sasikala faction pelted them with stones, the coffin bearing supporters had to beat a hasty retreat.

A spokesperson for Panneerselvam's faction said their members were injured in the stone attack. The party's candidate for the RK Nagar bypoll was E Madhusudhan.

The statue-bearing supporters said if that if Madhusudhan clinches the bypoll win, he will order a thorough investigation into Jayalalithaa's death. They even chose an election symbol of an electric light poll, with the bulbs designed in such a way that it looks just like a sapling, which was the symbol of the erstwhile AIADMK party under Jayalalithaa.

As written in an earlier Firstpost article, the jeep carrying the coffin made its way through the lanes and bylanes of RK Nagar constituency, while party leader Azhagu Thamilselvi told voters that Jayalalithaa herself has come demanding justice.

"It is an attempt to repackage the conspiracy theory that Team OPS has been belting out from day one. That Sasikala had a hand in Jayalalithaa's death and that others were prevented from meeting the former chief minister. The Panneerselvam camp obviously must have felt that Jayalalithaa's body would add the emotional quotient to the conspiracy pitch. The presence of former education minister K Pandiarajan atop the jeep means the coffin idea must have been cleared at the highest level in the Panneerselvam camp," wrote TS Sudhir.

Jayalalithaa died on 5 December, 2016, following a lengthy 75-day hospital stay. Rival factions have battled ever since to seek complete control of AIADMK, with one led by Sasikala and the other by O Panneerselvam, forming separate parties unto themselves — AIADMK (Amma) and AIADMK (Puratchi Thalaivi Amma) respectively.

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Updated Date: Apr 10, 2017 19:13:00 IST

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