Updated: August 23, 2021 8:49:27 pm
Former AIADMK minister D Jayakumar said Monday that it was unnecessary to discuss the Kodanad heist-cum-murder case at the Legislative Assembly when the state was facing so many other pressing issues.
A few days ago, Congress Legislature Party Leader Selvaperunthagai had said his party will introduce a calling attention motion on the Kodanad issue in the Assembly on Monday. Before the session began on Monday, Jayakumar called a press meet at his residence and said it is unusual to discuss a matter that is sub judice.
“It is the practice to move a calling attention motion during zero hour to draw the government’s immediate attention in case of events like a flood, fire accident or a natural calamity. But that is not the case with the Kodanad estate issue. I have served as the Speaker during the AIADMK regime and we did not discuss anything about cases pending in court,” he said.
In April 2017, the security guard of the Kodanad estate bungalow, former chief minister Jayalalithaa’s retreat home in the hilly district of Nilgiris, was found dead. During the probe, it emerged that her former driver C Kanagaraj and K V Sayan had allegedly plotted the crime. Ten people were arrested and a charge sheet filed in the case. Two months later, another employee at the estate was found dead in a suspected case of suicide. Soon, Sayan’s wife and daughter and Kanagaraj were killed in separate road accidents. The next court hearing in the case is on August 27.
A few days ago, police recorded the statement of Sayan. Sayan had, in 2019, raised serious allegations linking the then Chief Minister Edappadi K Palaniswami to the robbery.
When asked why the AIADMK staged a walkout in the Assembly on August 18 over the government decision to further probe the 2017 Kodanad case, Jayakumar said that if they are not allowed to voice their opinion in the Assembly, they have no other option but to stage a walkout. “The DMK government is attempting to corner the Leader of Opposition Edappadi K Palaniswami. They are making efforts to silence him and are causing mental harassment,” he said.
Jayakumar said the AIADMK was not denying the crime that took place at Kodanad estate but urged the DMK to wait until the judgment and said the Assembly cannot take over the powers of the court. “The ultimate aim of the DMK is to tarnish AIADMK’s image,” he said, adding that DMK members can express their views at the trial court and not in the Assembly and said AIADMK are not afraid of anyone as they have not committed any wrong.
Edappadi claimed that the DMK is foisting false cases against AIADMK leaders and accused DMK of reopening a case that is nearing conclusion just to gain political mileage.
A day after the Opposition’s walkout, an AIADMK delegation led by Edappadi and O Pannerselvam met Governor Banwarilal Purohit and presented a memorandum against the DMK government detailing its “misuse of government machinery” for vendetta. AIADMK leaders told reporters that the ruling party was using the issue to shift the spotlight from their shortcomings in Covid-19 management.
Chief Minister MK Stalin had said in the Assembly that there was no political agenda behind the decision to order further probe in the case and they will go ahead with the investigation as per judicial norms.
He said the murder and subsequent deaths had raised certain suspicions among the public due to which the DMK had promised in its election manifesto that they will bring all culprits before the law.
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