Senior Tamil Nadu minister and AIADMK leader Dindigul Srinivasan has claimed that afraid of Sasikala, party leaders lied about Jayalalithaa's health last year so that people believe that she was improving.
No one was allowed to meet the late chief minister. Whoever came, would be briefed by Sasikala's relatives that she was "all right", he said.
Addressing a public meeting here late last night, he sought the pardon of AIADMK cadres and the public for lying about Jayalalithaa's health.
Srinivasan said he was now coming out with the truth pushed by the situation.
The fact was none including himself was allowed to see Jayalalithaa, who was admitted to the Apollo Hospitals in Chennai on September 22, 2016, claimed Srinivasan, who had also made such statements to the media last year.
After prolonged treatment for infection and other complications, Jayalalithaa had died of a heart attack on December 5 last.
Chief Minister K Palaniswami has recently announced a commission of inquiry would probe the death.
Present deputy chief minister and former rebel leader O Panneerselvam had pressed for a probe into the death of Jayalalithaa saying there were doubts in the minds of people.
"I seek a huge pardon from you. Please forgive me. We told lies Amma (Jayalalithaa) is eating sambar, chatni, tea etc so that you will believe that she is improving. In fact no body saw Amma eating idli or drinking tea or chatting... all are lies," Srinivasan said.
Similarly, news about several leaders meeting Jayalalithaa in the hospital and their version that she was improving was also false, he claimed.
"We were afraid of Sasikala at that time and lied about Jayalalithaa's health condition," he claimed.
"It is very common that sisters who fight inside the house will appear to be friendly outside. We did not want the secret of the party to get leaked... that is why we lied," he said.
Referring to statements by people loyal to sidelined party leader T T V Dhinakaran that they had evidence to refute doubts over the treatment given to Jayalalithaa, he dared them to release these and face the inquiry commission to let the people know the truth.
Srinivasan said it was they who made Sasikala as interim general secretary after Jayalalithaa's demise.
"We did that because Sasiskala claimed she was with Jayalalithaa and took care of her. But people thought otherwise. They were angry and asked why did you handover the party to the Sasikala clan," he said.
He maintained that Sasikala was selected only due to the compulsion of the circumstances.
A recent general council meeting of the party had annulled the appointment of Sasikala as interim general secretary and held as invalid all her decisions.