Tamil Nadu

Janaki Ramachandran gifted AIADMK headquarters land

The property, housing the AIADMK’s headquarters on Lloyds Road or Avvai Shamugam Salai at Royapettah, was gifted by Janaki Ramachandran, former Chief Minister and wife of party founder M.G. Ramachandran, during the 1980s.

Measuring 10 grounds, the property was donated by Janaki Ramachandran to her husband in mid-1987 before she accompanied him to the U.S. for treatment, says Kumar Rajendran, advocate and grandson of P. Narayanan, brother of Janaki. Eventually, the land and the building were given over to the party.

Shifted to T. Nagar

She had purchased the property in the 1950s. It was used briefly to accommodate the office of the South Indian Artistes Association, popularly called Nadigar Sangam, before the Sangam’s office moved to T. Nagar, recalls Mr. Rajendran, who has authored the publication, Janaki MGR: Naadanda Mudhal Nayaki.

Challenging the order of the Additional District Magistrate and the Chennai Collector’s Personal Assistant (General) to assign the property to Jayalalithaa’s group, Janaki Ramachandran submitted in the Madras High Court in 1988-89 that she was entitled to its possession as she purchased the property in 1957 and gifted it to the party in July 1987.

Mr. Rajendran says his grandfather had even converted the property into a marriage hall, which was named after the mother of MGR, Sathya.

It was from 1973 that the property came to be used as the AIADMK headquarters, he adds.

Sealed after the split

For a brief period in 1988, the property was sealed when the AIADMK split. Though Janaki Ramachandran secured a favourable order on the property in late January 1989, the groups led by her and Jayalalithaa came together in a couple of weeks.

The property came under the full control of Jayalalithaa. In 1997, the front elevation underwent a change at the initiative of Jayalalithaa, says K. Mahalingam, who worked as an aide to MGR during 1972-87.

In recent months, J.C.D. Prabhakar, a member of the party’s steering committee and two-time Villivakkam MLA, including once during 1980-84 when MGR was the Chief Minister, had demanded that the headquarters be named after the party’s founder.

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Printable version | Dec 7, 2021 3:26:45 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/tamil-nadu/janaki-ramachandran-gifted-aiadmk-headquarters-land/article37013512.ece

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