Is ADMK going to buy Jayalalithaa's palatial Poes Garden residence? Former Minister opens up!

The politics around late Tamil Nadu Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa's palatial residence in Poes Garden, Chennai was seemingly over after it had its successors- Jayalalithaa's legal heirs Deepa and Deepak. The siblings had entered the residence last week after a long legal battle against the previous ADMK regime's directive of converting it as the memorial of the late Chief Minister. Though the ADMK had lost its possession over the residence, the recent events had hinted that the party is mulling to acquire the residence. 

On Friday, J Deepa and J Deepak, niece and nephew of Jayalalithaa, had walked into the Veda Nilayam residence and opened the doors that remained locked for a long time. They entered the residence after securing the keys from the Chennai Collector and their arrival at the residence has come two weeks after the Madras High Court had directed the Tamil Nadu government to hand over the residence to Jayalalithaa's legal heirs. In its directive on November 25, the court has ordered the government to hand over the keys of the residence to Deepa and Deepak within three weeks. 

Deepa and Deepak are the children of Jayalalithaa's elder brother Jayakumar and both the heirs had filed separate applications to the Chennai Collector in which they sought that the property must be handed over to them as per the orders of the Madras High Court. Following the court order, the keys were handed over to them and on Friday, both of them had arrived along with their relatives and entered the Poes Garden residence with full police protection.  

The visuals from the scene had shown that Deepa and her husband standing at Jayalalithaa's signature balcony of the residence and waving their hands after successfully possessing the home after an incessant legal battle. Speaking to the media, Deepa said that this is a big win for them. "After a long legal battle, we have got a positive result. ADMK is a big political party. They have a lot more things to focus on and not fight for this home. I can go legally if they still want to fight", she added.

After the demise of Jayalalithaa in 2016, the residence was under the control of her close aide VK Sasikala for a brief time until she was sent to prison. Later, the previous ADMK regime led by Edappadi Palaniswami had taken possession of the Poes Garden residence in 2020 to convert it as a memorial for the late Chief Minister Jayalalithaa. However, Deepa and Deepak had approached the court against the decision of the government following which they were declared as the legal heirs of Jayalalithaa and recently, the court ordered the current government to hand over the keys of the residence to the legal heirs.

Though Deepa and Deepak had taken possession of the residence, the reports say that ADMK is mulling to acquire the residence privately from the heirs in its bid to avert VK Sasikala's efforts to take over the residence before her propaganda of taking over the party. ADMK neither denied nor backed Deepa and Deepak for succeeding the residence. Former ADMK Minister Sellur Raju has said that Deepa and Deepak should voluntarily come forward to make the residence as Jayalalithaa's memorial and if they do, they will be in history. 

While addressing the reporters in Madurai, Sellur Raju said, "ADMK will appeal against the cour's directive of handing over the residence to Jayalalithaa's legal heirs. It is the place where Jayalalithaa lived till death and it was the residence where she met national leaders and prominent personalities. So, if the residence is converted as her memorial house, people from not only India but from across the world would come and visit it."

Deepa and her husband can be seen waving hands from the balcony of Veda Nilayam- the residence of Jayalalithaa in Poes Garden- Dec 10, 2021


Responding to the question of whether the party will acquire the residence, the former minister said that the party's leadership will decide on acquiring the residence with the party's fund. He further said, "I want to request Jayalalalithaa's relatives Deepa and Deepak to voluntarily come forward and allow the conversion of the residence to a memorial. They will stand tall in history if they do that and they can place any other place as their residence apart from the Veda Nilayam. We don't have dissent opinions in this regard."