Karunanidhi hints at Jayalalitha’s expulsion from assembly


Chennai : Tamil Nadu Chief Minister M. Karunanidhi Wednesday said that leader of opposition J. Jayalalitha faces possible disqualification from the state assembly as she had failed to disclose details about her real estate holdings worth Rs.36 million during last year's assembly elections.

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According to the ruling DMK, Jayalalitha, the AIADMK chief, partly owns the Kodanadu Tea Estate Company – on which a huge residence spanning 38,000 sq. ft. has been built in the Nilgiris – on the southern edge of the Western Ghats.

"It is obvious that she (Jayalalitha) has hidden the fact about Kodanadu while filing the affidavit (about her assets) during last year's legislative assembly elections," Karunanidhi told journalists here.

"If the ensuing probe proves the allegation to be true, she will not be able to contest elections in future and the post of MLA she holds now will also be rendered invalid."

It all started on DMK patriarch Karunanidhi's 84th birthday June 3 when Jayalalitha vowed to root out the very existence of the ruling party from the political sphere of the state.

She was reacting to a show cause notice from a Supreme Court-appointed monitoring committee within the Chennai Metropolitan Development Authority which said that the AIADMK headquarters in the heart of the city had violated all norms.

The AIADMK chief had already been angered by an attempt by state officials to inspect the palatial residence in Kodanadu where she was having a summer holiday a few days ago.

Officials asserted that Jayalalitha and her close confidante Shashikala owned the estate in Nilgiris district.

After AIADMK workers prevented the officials from inspecting the bungalow, Karunanidhi had released documentary evidence to prove that the duo invested Rs.36 million in the property situated in the hills.

The chief minister claimed that the massive structure had violated building norms stipulated by the Hill Areas Development Authority and built without statutory permission.

Karunanidhi also distanced himself from the move to demolish the AIADMK headquarters here and the Kodanadu estate by saying that the whole thing was an attempt by another statutory body that had no connection with his government.

"AIADMK's campaign that we are going to conduct a raid on their places is false," he pointed out.

Jayalalitha Wednesday formed an eight-party political front in Hyderabad to provide a "viable alternative" to the ruling Congress-led United Progressive Alliance (UPA) and the opposition National Democratic Alliance (NDA) led by the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP). The DMK is part of the UPA.