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Chennai: The Tamil Nadu government on Saturday deposited Rs 67.9 crore in the city Civil Court for acquiring late Chief Minister J Jayalalitha’s Poes Garden residence, Veda Nilayam, here, as part of its efforts to convert it into a memorial.
Of the sum, Rs 36.9 crore would be paid towards IT and wealth tax arrears which Jayalalithaa had reportedly owed the Income Tax department, thus freeing it of any encumbrances, official sources said.
Jayalalithaa’s niece and nephew J Deepa and J Deepak, who have staked claim to the property, said they opposed the government move to take over their aunt’s bungalow and convert it into a memorial.
The ruling AIADMK said the party had a “responsibility and right” to convert the sprawling 0.55 acre property into a memorial, in line with Chief Minister K Palaniswami’s 2017 announcement made after he assumed office.
“We have deposited Rs 68 crore in the City Civil Court… it is our responsibility and right to make her house a memorial,” senior AIADMK leader and Fisheries Minister D Jayakumar told reporters here.
Converting the house into a memorial was the ‘wholehearted desire’ of the people of Tamil Nadu and AIADMK party workers, he added. Depositing Rs 67.9 crore towards compensation in a city court will pave the way for the state government to take possession of the former AIADMK supremo’s residence and convert it into a memorial.
Opposing the government’s decision, Deepa and Deepak said they will move the court against it.
“We will go on an appeal before the court challenging the state government. When the court has declared us as legal heirs, the decision to deposit compensation in court or convert our aunt’s property into a memorial is wrong,” Deepa told reporters here in response to the development.
Her brother too was present. (PTI)