CHENNAI: Chief Minister M. Karunanidhi on Saturday said he was ready to face any defamation case filed by AIADMK general secretary Jayalalithaa, saying it would bring out more details, including how land transactions were done and how the government machinery was used for the purpose.
The Chief Minister was reacting to Ms. Jayalalithaa's allegation that he indulged in a malicious campaign against her despite the fact she had nothing to do with the Siruthavur land deal.
Mr. Karunanidhi said the case would provide an opportunity to reveal how an official, in blatant violation of rules and objections from other officials, helped in registering the lands. He said the Sivasubramaniam commission of inquiry was constituted not to find whether Ms. Jayalalithaa had any role in the land deal or whether lands were registered in her name.
“Everyone knows that the land on which the bungalow stood does not belong to her,” he said, adding that the question was “who does it belong to and who receives the rent for Ms. Jayalalithaa's stay.”
The Chief Minister said the commission was constituted based on a memorandum submitted by the then State secretary of the CPI(M) N. Varadarajan seeking a detailed inquiry into the land dispute in Siruthavur.
“The government's role is confined to constituting the commission,” he said, adding it was unjust to accuse him of indulging in false propaganda.
Mr. Karunanidhi said the commission inquired into allegations that 35 of the 115 acres covered with fencing were ‘poromboke' lands and investigated those involved in the encroachment.
The report had said 53 acres near the bungalow were purchased by Bharani Resorts and the owners are V.N. Sudhakaran, Ilavarasi and Chitra. The land was given to the Dalits by the government.
“Are they not relatives of Ms. Sasikala, the close friend of Ms. Jayalalithaa?,” he asked.
Recalling the findings of the commission that transfer of pattas for the lands was done in a hurried manner in 2005 during the AIADMK regime, the Chief Minister said Tahsildar Thiyagarajan from Thoothukudi was transferred to Kancheepuram just ten days before his retirement to facilitate the land transaction.
“It will be good if Ms. Jayalalithaa answers who is responsible for the irregularities,” the Chief Minister said.