‘Not in the loop on release of footage’

T.T.V. Dhinakaran, independent candidate in the R.K. Nagar byelection, said on Thursday that he was not aware that disqualified Perambur MLA P. Vetrivel would release a video clip on Wednesday, which purportedly showed Jayalalithaa in a hospital room.

Mr. Dhinakaran confirmed Mr. Vetrivel’s contention that that the clip was given to him by the sidelined AIADMK leader. Despite claiming that he was disappointed with Mr. Vetrivel’s decision, Mr. Dhinakaran said that no disciplinary action would be initiated against the man, who was one of his election agents.

During an interaction with reporters at an apartment complex in Tondiarpet’s Thiruvalluvar Nagar, Mr. Dhinakaran told reporters that Mr. Vetrivel was also a friend. He said that his comments about the 2G scam case verdict should not be seen as an olive branch to the DMK. “As someone from Tamil Nadu, I am happy that those from the State have been acquitted. I am not someone who would want to grow his party by jailing opponents. This verdict will not affect the bypoll,” he said. Mr. Dhinakaran confirmed the existence of more such videos/images of Jayalalithaa. “I had given Mr. Vetrivel a pen drive. It contained two or three more such things,” he said.

Mr. Dhinakaran said he has been in possession of the video, shot in November after Jayalalithaa was moved from the ICU to a room in Apollo Hospitals, since February. He said that V.K. Sasikala did not want to make the video public in the days following Jayalalithaa’s demise. “Only when she was convicted and sent to Bengaluru did she give me a copy, after I told her it would come handy in the future,” he said.

Mr. Dhinakaran said the video came into his possession in February-end or March and that one of the reasons for not making its contents public was that Jayalalithaa was wearing a “nighty.” He also said that he had lost confidence in the Justice Arumughasamy Commission. Mr. Dhinakaran said that Mr. Vetrivel had released the clip not to influence the election but to resist the personal attacks on Ms. Sasikala.

Another case filed

Meanwhile, the police booked yet another case against Mr. P. Vetrivel under stringent provisions of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) for causing disturbance to public peace by releasing the video.

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