WITH the focus of AIADMK general secretary and Tamil Nadu Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa’s election campaign remaining firmly on the damning 2G spectrum scam that has ensnared the party and his family, DMK president M Karunanidhi sought to offer a rebuttal with figures from the disproportionate assets (DA) case that she has been facing.
Launching his campaign for Lok Sabha election, in Chennai Wednesday, Karunanidhi ridiculed Jaya of staging a drama of being a noble soul working hard for the welfare of the people earning only Re 1 in salary.
After briefly explaining the recent developments in the disproportionate assets case that is being heard by a court in Bangalore where the special public prosecutor was asked to pay his day’s earning as fine for not commencing arguments, Karunanidhi went on to list out the properties that Jaya allegedly owned as informed by the advocate. The present value of these properties, he claimed, would be over Rs 5,000 crore today. (The official figure is much more modest at Rs 66.65 crore, recorded when the case was initiated in late 1990s.)
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The list, which Karunanidhi claims the special public prosecutor read out in the court three days ago, purportedly contains 600 acres of land near Chennai; 25 acres of land and a bungalow at Siruthavoor; two acres in Neelankarai, a costly neighbourhood just outside Chennai; 800 acres in Kodanadu in Nilgiris district; 200 acres in Kancheepuram; 1,190 acres in Kanyakumari; 200 acres in Srivaikuntam in Tuticorin district; 100 acres in the name of an agro farm; 30 vehicles of varying make; and a farm in Hyderabad.
At Rs 5 crore per acre going rate, the estate in Kodanadu, to where Jaya retreats every once in a while, alone was worth over Rs 4,000 crore, claimed Karunanidhi. “The same Jayalalithaa who misused her position to accumulate all this wealth is claiming to be a saint who is given to a Spartan way of life, as if she is an innocent child who does not even know the meaning of the word corruption. What drama, what fraud!”
But barring the media organs owned by the DMK, its parent DK or from the Sun Group of the Marans, the media did not highlight the cases against Jaya out of fear of intimidation, charged Karunanidhi. “However, when writing about (former telecom minister and 2G scam accused A Raja), they added zero after zero, about five-six of them, and alleged he had made all that money. But each of those zeros they added is falling off and disappearing. In the end, there is no blame on Raja,” he justified and came down heavily on the Congress for its repeated acts of betrayal, offered it an amnesty, and ruled out heeding to his rebel son M K Alagiri’s tantrums.
The DA case is Jaya’s Achilles heel that has been dogging her for the past 15 years. The case was shifted to a special court in Bangalore in 2003.