No intent to malign, says Karuna as Jaya threatens to sue him
Chennai: Tamil Nadu Chief Minister M
Karunanidhi on Friday asserted his government had no intention to
"malign" AIADMK supremo Jayalalithaa in the land grabbing case
even as she threatened to sue him for defamation on the issue.
Karunanidhi told the state Assembly that the Justice
Sivasubramanian Commission of Inquiry was constituted to probe
the Siruthavur land grabbing charges only after the CPI-M, now
an ally of AIADMK, had spearheaded an agitation against her on
the plea that the land assigned to Dalits had been usurped.
He said the bungalow at Siruthavur, used by Jayalalithaa,
was located in a 115-acre site that included the disputed
property. Of this, 35 acres were government poromboke land.
Bharani Resorts, in which relatives of Jayalalithaa's
close friend Sasikala hold stakes, illegally purchased 53
acres of Dalit lands and he had only mentioned this at a
meeting organised by Viduthalai Chiruthaigal Katchi (VCK), he
said, adding "Charges and counter-charges are common during
public meetings. Both of us are none to second in this."
Earlier in the day, Jayalalithaa, given clean chit by the
inquiry commission, threatened to sue Karunanidhi for
defamation, accusing him of indulging in a "false propaganda"
against her on the land grabbing issue.
"Knowing fully well of the fact that I have no connections
with the disputed property, Karunanidhi was indulging in false
and malicious propaganda against me and had said in the VCK
meeting last month that a former chief minister had a driven
away Dalits from their land at Siruthavur village," she said.
Speaking in the Assembly, Karunanidhi said "We don't
intend to malign or bring even the smallest of the disrepute
to the former Chief Minister...But whatever the charges
(regarding land grab), they were raised by the CPI(M)."
Karunanidhi recalled former state unit secretary of CPI-M
N Varadarajan had submitted a petition to him on the alleged
grabbing of land assigned to landless Dalits in Siruthavur
seeking it to be referred to an inquiry commission.
"If the charges of O Panneerselvam (AIADMK) who had
criticised the government on the issue are true, it should go
to their ally CPI-M and not to us," he said, intervening
Panneerselvam and his party colleague K A Sengottiyan who said
the commission's findings proved that Karunanidhi's reported
remarks that their leader had usurped lands assigned for
Dalits were false.
Karunanidhi said the commission had recommended retrieval
of the land but government had not taken any hasty decision
though the involved parties were close to Jayalalithaa.
Though the commission had submitted its report some days
back, the government did not take any action only because the
findings could be discussed in the House, he said.
The commission, in its report tabled in Assembly
yesterday, had said not even a notice was issued to
Jayalalithaa on transfer of land title deed by fraudulent
means as there was no specific case against her.
It, however, indicted two relatives of Sasikala, V N
Sudhakaran (Jayalalithaa's former foster son) and Ilavarasi,
both partners of Bharani Resorts, which was alleged to have
transferred the assigned land through fraudulent means.