Jaya’s nephew raps govt for flout­ing norms while tak­ing over Veda Ni­layam

Sunday Express - - CHENNAI - T MURUGANANDHAM @ Chen­nai

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.

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