Bengaluru: The absence of Tamil Nadu Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa from the state's political scenario has sparked a number of rumours and commotion.
The AIADMK leader has been admitted in Apollo Hospitals since last month. A number of her supporters gather outside the hospital and organise prayers for the speedy recovery of 'Amma' almost every day.
On the second floor of the hospital, another lady has become the centre of attraction.
She is the one who is credited with running the state administration while Jayalalithaa is recovering from her illness.
Sheela Balakrishnan, the 62-year-old retired IAS officer, hails from Thiruvananthapuram, Kerala.
She retired from service in 2014, but was appointed as the advisor to Jayalalithaa.
Some say that Jayalalithaa's close aide, Sasikala Natrajan, is handling the party affairs, while ministers are reporting to Balakrishnan.
“Jayalalithaa has implicit trust in Sheela Balakrishnan, both for her abilities and attitude, which is why she has become the most important person in the state today. Nothing moves without her consent,” Hindustan Times has quoted a top official as saying.
Balakrishnan is reportedly calling the shots from a room close to that of Jayalalithaa. Another room on the same floor is occupied by Sasikala.
Albeit Balakrishnan has not taken any major policy decisions, yet she is ensuring the administration runs smoothly in the absence of Jayalalithaa.
The Madras High Court today dismissed the public interest litigation filed by social activist Traffic Ramaswamy seeking information about Jayalalithaa's health condition.
The court dismissed the case as the one filed for seeking publicity.
The 68-year-old Chief Minister was admitted to Apollo Hospitals on September 22 for fever and dehydration.
While Apollo Hospitals initially said Jayalalithaa was cured of fever, later it said she was being treated for infection. She was advised some more days' stay in the hospital.
Meanwhile, according to reports, a three-doctor team from All India Institute of Medical Sciences, Delhi, will examine Jayalalithaa.