Tamil Nadu Opposition leader and DMK chief M K Stalin on Sunday demanded Chief Minister Edappadi K Palaniswami’s resignation over his alleged role in the Kodanad estate case. He said he will take up the matter with Governor Banwarilal Purohit on Monday and seek a high-level probe into Palaniswami’s role.
The case Stalin referred to involves a robbery and deaths that occurred at late J Jayalalithaa’s Kodanad estate in the Nilgiris in 2017, a few months after the AIADMK supremo’s death. On January 11, journalist Matthew Samuel released a video in Delhi, in which one of the accused in the robbery levelled allegations linking Palaniswami to the break-in.
The Chief Minister has denied involvement. On Saturday, he told reporters that the allegations were baseless. “Role of everyone behind this video will be probed. Why did they launch this defaming campaign against me? I suspect that there is a political motive behind this,” he said.
Stalin said there were many “mysterious incidents and deaths” that occurred at the Kodanad estate. He listed out a number of them, including the death of a security guard, the alleged suicide of the CCTV operator, the mysterious road accident death of C Kanagaraj — the main accused in the robbery case — and a similar accident that killed the wife and the daughter of K V Sayan, the second accused.
He demanded that the Centre order a high-level probe to be monitored by the Madras High Court, and that the ambit of the probe also include Jayalalithaa’s former aide V K Sasikala and her family.
“He should resign immediately,” he said, referring to the Chief Minister.
On Saturday, Palaniswami said a case has been registered against “Mathew Samuel and others” based on a complaint by Raj Sathyan, an AIADMK IT wing office bearer.
Sources in Chennai police said a team of officers reached Delhi to arrest Samuel and others for organising the press meet against Palaniswami. Late on Sunday, Chennai police sources confirmed that Sayan and Manoj Valayar — the third accused — were arrested from Delhi.