Chennai: Even as the Apollo hospital said on Tuesday that J Jayalalithaa's health condition "continues to improve", there is one woman who is being credited with running the state administration in absence of Tamil Nadu Chief Minister.
And she is - Retired IAS officer, Sheela Balakrishnan, hailing from Thiruvananthapuram in Kerala.
She is said to be holding court somewhere on the second floor of the hospital where ailing Jayalalithaa is being treated by a team of top doctors.
Top officials (such as chief secretary P Rama Mohan Rao and director general of police TK Rajendran) supposedly line up to take instructions from her.
“Even ministers are taking instructions from her,” Hindustan Times quoted an official (who did not wish to be named) as saying.
“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,” he added.
The 1976-batch IAS officer is said to be operating from a room close to that of Jayalalithaa.
Balakrishnan, 62, retired in 2014, but was appointed as Jayalalithaa's official adviser soon after and is said to be her most-trusted advisor.
The Daily also said that though no major policy decisions are being taken in the CM's absence, Balakrishnan is ensuring that the administration is being run smoothly.
On the other hand, her orders are reportedly being implemented by another IAS officer, Santha Sheela Nair. She sits in CM's office in the state secretariat.
Medical treatment of TN CM continuing: Apollo hospital
Meanwhile, Apollo hospital said today that same line of treatment, including antibiotics and other clinical measures, was being continued for Jayalalithaa.
Chief Operating Officer of Apollo hospitals Subbiah Viswanathan said in a press release that "the same line of treatment is being continued. The honourable CM is under close observation by the team of doctors."
The CM, who is undergoing treatment, "continues to improve," he said, adding that she has been advised further stay in the hospital, as per PTI.
Yesterday, Viswanathan had said the treatment plan, including appropriate antibiotics, respiratory support and other allied clinical measures, was being continued to treat infection.
He had also said that she "is responding adequately to the comprehensive treatment".
On October 2, for the first time since she was hospitalised on September 22, the hospital had said the Chief Minister was being treated for "infection".
A bulletin from the hospital had said it had taken an expert opinion from a UK-based doctor who examined her and concurred with the present line of treatment.
The 68-year-old AIADMK supremo was admitted to the hospital after she complained of fever and dehydration.
(With Agency inputs)