Late Tamil Nadu chief minister Jayalalithaa’s niece Deepa Jayakumar was not allowed to enter the former CM’s Poes Garden residence in Chennai today, triggering protests by her supporters. “Stopped from entering Poes Garden, we are being humiliated, looks like Deepak Jayakumar has cheated us by joining Sasikala camp,” Deepa was quoted as saying by ANI.
AIADMK Amma camp sources, who were present at the residence, told PTI that Deepa had made an unscheduled visit to Poes Garden to garland a portrait of her late aunt Jayalalithaa, which has been kept in the front porch of the sprawling house. Deepa was allowed to garland the portrait initially, but stopped when she tried to enter the house. “Suddenly, she wanted to enter the house to which we said we don’t have the authority to allow. We also pointed to her that the house was locked and asked her to leave the premises,” sources told the agency.
What added more to the drama was the fact that Deepa’s brother Deepak was also present in the Poes Garden when she arrived. Later, Deepa accused her brother of cheating by joining the Sasikala camp. After Deepa was stopped from entering the house, her supporters staged a protest, alleging she was blocked by supporters of AIADMK Amma deputy general secretary TTV Dhinakaran.
“He (Deepak Jayakumar) called me at 5:30 am, asked me come to Poes Garden today, now you are not allowing me to go inside,” ANI quoted Deepa as saying.
“We will stand here and go inside come what may,” she added.
While police presence was beefed up in the area following the controversy over the incident, some news reporters also alleged that they were stopped from Deepa’s visit, according to ANI. Reports said that police allowed only the residents of the locality and their vehicles to enter the area, while barring outsiders, including mediapersons.
Following Jayalalithaa’s death, the Poes Garden house was occupied by AIADMK general secretary VK Sasikala, one of the close aides of late CM, until she surrendered in a Bengaluru court in February this year to serve her term in the disproportionate wealth case. Sasikala’s rival O Panneerselvam has demanded to convert the house into a memorial.