TN Govt to ‘Temporarily’ Take Over Former CM Jayalalithaa’s House

An ordinance for the state government to ‘temporarily’ take over the residence of former Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa was promulgated by Tamil Nadu Governor Banwarilal Purohit.

On Friday, 22 May, the governor gave his consent to the ordinance for the temporary acquisition of Veda Nilayam at Poes Garden in Chennai, Tamil Nadu, and to convert the house into a memorial.

He has permitted the establishment ‘Puratchi Thalaivi Dr J Jayalalithaa Memorial Foundation’ to make long-term arrangements for the conversion process.

The trust will be headed by Chief Minister Edappadi Palaniswami, Deputy Chief Minister O Panneerselvam, Information and Publicity Minister Kadambur Raju, and government officials including members and director of information and public relations.

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“The foundation will take necessary steps to maintain 'Veda Nilayam' and take necessary steps for the maintenance, upkeep and safety of all movable properties therein,” read a statement on Friday.

Veda Nilayam has been the centre of a political controversy after the AIADMK split in 2017 with O Panneerselvam’s rebellion against the then interim general secretary of the party VK Sasikala. In February 2017, Panneerselvam was the first to demand that the bungalow be converted into a memorial for the late leader.

After the merger of the Palaniswami and Panneerselvam factions, the former made an announcement on 17 August 2017 that the bungalow will be converted into a memorial. The government is constructing another memorial for Jayalalithaa on Marina beach where she was buried.

The value of the bungalow is estimated to be Rs 100 crore. Jayalalithaa resided at the house until the very end.

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