Amid high drama on Tuesday night, Tamil Nadu’s caretaker Chief Minister O Panneerselvam admitted what everybody had been speculating for long. After meditating at former chief minister Jayalalithaa’s memorial, Panneerselvam vented out his anger and accepted that he was humiliated again and again and forced to resign. “Why did you have to make me sit in the CM’s chair and insult me,” an aggrieved CM asked on Tuesday.
While announcing his rebellion, he also hinted at a question that many have been asking: Was there a conspiracy behind Jayalalithaa’s death? It is not the first time that clouds of conspiracy are looming over the death of a political leader. In the past too, investigations have been demanded several times after mysterious deaths of people while they held the chair.
Here is a look at some of the deaths who have questions written all over them:
Sanjay Gandhi: In a sudden accident, the aircraft that he was flying, plunged towards the ground and crashed near Delhi’s Safdarjung airport. Both he and his trainer who was with him died in the crash. What grabbed eyeballs in the crash was that when Indira Gandhi reached the crash site, her first question was “Where are his keys and his wrist watch?” Conspiracy theories suggest that he used to blackmail Indira Gandhi to have his way. It is said that due to the route he took in dealing with things, he had his own set of enemies in politics, who had their hand in his death. However, others claim that he was trying acrobatics which led to the crash.
Years later, the mystery still remains.
Lal Bahadur Shastri: Anyone who has had even the slightest of interest in politics would have heard the stories of conspiracy behind former prime minister Lal Bahadur Shastri. Soon after he met the then Pakistan President Ayub Khan and the Tashkent declaration was signed between the two countries, reports came that he died of multiple heart attacks in his hotel in Tashkent. Reports suggested that he was murdered by CIA agents who felt threatened by him giving a green signal to nuclear activity in India.
There were also rumours that the water flask from which he was ‘poisoned’ wasn’t brought back to India. His body had turned blue when it was brought back to India which fuelled more suspicions. What added to the mystery was the fact that despite repeated appeals, the Indian government did not press for a post mortem despite the fact that there were cuts along the abdomen on the body. There was no life threatening heart ailment that she was suffering from at his time of death.
Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose: Whether he is alive or not is still unknown. It was reported that Subhas Chandra Bose was charred to death in a plane crash that took place in Taipei in 1945. However, rumours say that he was not travelling in the plane that crashed in Taipei. Reports also say that he died in Siberia while he was taken captive by the Soviet army. His ashes have been kept in the Renkoji monastery in Japan, fearing unrest in the country, they are yet to be brought back. Time and again, there have been appeals to furnish details around Netaji’s death.
Dr. Shyama Prasad Mukherjee: A member of former PM Jawaharlal Nehru’s first cabinet, Mukherjee left government and founded the Bharatiya Jana Sangh. He firmly attacked the Congress and advocated his stand for providing an independent status to Kashmir under Article 370 of the Indian Constitution. His opposition was so fierce that it was suggested that he might have a threat to his life. In 1953, he was arrested when he reached Kashmir to stage protests. Days after his arrest, he died owing to his ill health. Despite informing doctors beforehand about his allergy to penicillin, he was administered one.
Lalit Narayan Mishra: The seasoned politician from Bihar had a huge clout in Indira Gandhi’s government and also served as the railway minister in her Cabinet. During a tour to Samistipur in Bihar, he was critically injured when a blast took place on the dais. He died the next day of his injuries. However, suspicions were raised over his death. Reports also suggested that CIA was behind the death of the leader. The case of bomb blast which killed has still not been solved.