Jaya’s nephew raps govt for flouting norms while taking over Veda Nilayam
AS revenue officials commenced the preliminary work on Saturday to convert late chief minister and AIADMK leader J Jayalalithaa’s residence, Veda Nilayam, into a public memorial, her nephew and legal claimant Deepak Jayakumar has shot off a protest letter to Chief Minister ‘Edappadi’K Palaniswami.
The protest, he insisted, was not against making the sprawling property at upscale Poes Garden, but the way the government went about announcing it. “Even for removing a tea shop along the way where a flyover is coming up, the government should follow the procedure. Otherwise, the affected person will move the court. When such is the legal position, how can the government make a unilateral announcement?”
With no children to claim Jaya’s assets, Deepak and his sister Deepa, children of her brother J Jayakumar, have claimed rights over the property under the Hindu Succession Act. “I am ready to give up my claim over the house for the sake of making it a memorial. My sister, too, would agree for that. But the government should have consulted us before taking a decision,” Dee pak told Express.
He has written a letter to the chief minister in this regard asking him to follow the procedures, and said he was expecting a reply soon.
Deepak has also sought rights to maintain the memorial, arguing that a memorial for Jaya, a sanctum sanctorum for the party faithful and the present government, may not remain so after a regime change.
“After some years, the government may change. In that case, whether the memorial would be given due importance remains to be seen. As blood relatives, my sister and I should be given the responsibility to maintain the memorial,” he said.
Veda Nilayam, Jayalalithaa’s residence is located in a 10-grounds land in Poes garden. Jaya and her mother Sandhya had purchased the land way back in July 1967, before Jaya turned into an active politician, for a sum of `1.32 lakh.
Over the decades, as Jaya entered a new career, captured a party and led it and the State, the palatial house added additional facilities for chief minister’s camp office, for second rung leaders who were summoned or granted audience, and the team of security personnel surrounding her every time she stepped out. The land was valued at `72.09 crore at market rate according to the affidavit Jayalalithaa filed in May 2016 while contesting in R K Nagar Assembly constituency.