Barely three days after former Tamil Nadu chief minister Jayalalithaa’s aide VK Sasikala returned to Chennai, authorities in different parts of the state have launched a crackdown against the jailed leader and her family members. The expelled AIADMK leader returned to the state days after completing her four-year jail term in Bengaluru in a corruption case.
Properties in Kanchipuram, Tanjavur, Tiruvarur and Chengalpet districts have been seized. The administration has seized over 144 acres worth Rs 300 crore in Kanchipuram, over 26,000 square feet in Tanjavur, while assessing nearly 1,050 acres in Tiruvarur that belonged to a company owned by Sasikala and her family members. These properties were bought by companies between 1994 and 1996.
The crackdown on Sasikala’s properties were launched following court orders received in disproportionate assets cases, district officials said in official statements. However, the timing of the raids has raised eyebrows as they come four years since the former AIADMK leader was convicted in the cases and with only three months remaining for the election.
Chief Minister EK Palanisamy, however, said there is nothing political in this move and the government is only following of a court order.
“These seizures not in any way related to politics. The courts have given their rulings and those who have to take action based on that are doing their job. This isn’t political at all.”
Earlier, the ruling AIAMDK leadership had said Sasikala and those backing her had nothing to do with the party and that it was illegal on their part to use the party flag as she returned to Tamil Nadu to a grand reception.