Media Warned. Kanimozhi and her mother say they had nothing to do with Voltas land.
Tamil Nadu Chief Minister M Karunanidhi wife and daughter on Thursday [17-12-2010] sought to distance themselves from a big land deal in Chennai concerning a Tata group company, saying they had nothing to do with the purchase of the piece of prime land by a Malaysiabased businessman. However, the remarks by Rajya Sabha MP Kanimozhi and her mother Rajathi Ammal, made separately, indicated that they knew the parties to the land deal, that they were aware of its financial details, and that the seller was a former associate.
A day after media reports suggested that a large plot taken on long lease by Voltas, a Tata group company, on the arterial Anna Salai (erstwhile Mount Road) here had been sold by a man named Saravanan, said to be close to Rajathi Ammal’s family and who held the power of attorney for the land owners, Kanimozhi said her family had nothing to do with the transaction. The reports had alleged that the land, measuring over 53,000 square feet and worth about Rs 200 crore, had been bought by an individual for just Rs 25 crore. According to conservative estimates, the plot would be worth more than Rs 150 crore.
“The property belonged to a private party, not the Tatas. Saravanan acted as a mediator between the owners and the buyer, who is a businessman from Malaysia,” Kanimozhi told reporters who wanted her to react to the charges. Her mother later issued a statement warning the media of legal action if there was any attempt to link her with the land deal. Rajathi Ammal said Saravanan used to be an employee of Royal Enterprises, a company owned by her, and had ventured out on his own to become a real estate dealer. “I understand Saravanan has obtained the power of attorney from the owners of the land on which Voltas is operating on lease, and sold it to Dr Shanmuganathan, a Malaysian businessman. This has nothing to do with my company,” she said. Contending that media reports that she had purchased the land were baseless, she warned that further publication of such reports would invite legal action.
Meanwhile, Voltas clarified that it had neither bought nor sold the land, as it was occupying it only on lease since 1975. On the expiry of its 30-year lease in 2005, it had filed a suit for renewal of lease for a further period as the owners did not renew it on their own. Meanwhile, it was depositing the lease amount to the income tax authorities since 1983. “Rent continues to be paid till date and Voltas’ petition seeking renewal of the lease by the landlords is pending adjudication by the Madras High Court.
The CBI on Wednesday 16-12-2010 raided the premises of Gaspar Raj, a priest who took to organising cultural events in the city. Hailing from a lower middle-class family in Kanyakumari, Gaspar Raj rose to fame mainly due to his links with high-profile politicians.
However, he denied having anything to do with the 2G spectrum issue or having any connection with political leaders linked to the controversy. “It was our love for poetry and Tamil culture that led to successful programmes like the Chennai Sangamam, the biggest annual cultural extravaganza of traditional folk arts in the city. Kanimozhi was greatly instrumental in reviving the folk arts of Tamil Nadu as part of the cultural extravaganza organized by the Tamil Maiyam,” he said.
Junior Vikatan in its issue dated 22-12-2010 says that Gasbar has told neither Kanimozhi nor Raja has donated to Tamil Maiyam and Green House promoters have only donated to Tamil Maiyam. Can Gaspar tell who is the owner of Green House promoters is. If Gaspar is clean in his activities all people will feel Happy.