For the first time since 1996, Poes Garden in Chennai, the erstwhile seat of power and residence of late former chief minister J.Jayalalithaa, has come under Income Tax scanner. The tax officials, after getting orders from the court, carried out searches at Jayalalithaa's former personal secretary Poongunran's room inside the Veda Nilayam on Friday night.
Poongunran, a member of Sasikala's family, was earlier questioned by the officials on Monday. The raids have sent shock waves down the spine of most of the AIADMK seniors as Veda Nilayam is already under the government control for being converted into a memorial.
Poes Garden residence was Jayalalithaa's chamber of secret and the closest of her comfort in her entire life.
The fresh I-T raids came after a five-day long searches at the residences of Sasikala's relatives and friends in 187 places across the country. The searches have reportedly found tax evasions worth over Rs 1,430 crore, while many big names in the family like Ilavarasi's son and CEO of Jaya TV Vivek Jeyaraman, his sister Krishnapriya and several others were summoned for inquiry by the I-T department.
Sources say Poongunran's office rooms at Poes Garden are now being searched now for incriminating documents. The posh bungalow had already been taken over by the state government to convert it into a memorial of the late leader.
Reacting to the latest I-T raids, T.T.V. Dhinakaran said the raids showed that Chief Minister Edappadi Palaniswamy and Deputy Chief Minister O.Panneerselvam would commit any treachery to save their posts.
“The searches are an insult to Amma's legacy. EPS and OPS are behind it. People behind these raids will have to answer one crore AIADMK cadre,” he said.