V K Sasikala’s brother V Divakaran said that late chief minister J Jayalalithaa did not ensure any “protection” to his sister. Divakaran’s comments came days after Income Tax sleuths raided premises linked to the family of the jailed AIADMK leader. According to Divakaran, Sasikala, who was a close aide of late leader J Jayalalithaa, has always been under a cloud of “inquiry” since 1996. Divakaran’s comments came in an apparent reference to a spate of corruption cases filed against Jayalalithaa and his sister after the AIADMK lost the assembly elections that year. “Amma (Jayalalithaa) utilised her fully, but went (died) without giving her any protection,” he said without elaborating. “Just imagine, if someone from your family happened to be with a powerful leader and did all the things said by the leader, and was still pushed to an unsafe situation later, then that is the best example for all women. It is a lesson for all,” he told reporters here yesterday while responding to queries on the I-T raids. Divakaran’s premises were also raided by I-T officials last week as part of multi-city searches of those associated with Sasikala.
On the recovery of pen drives and a laptop during an I-T search at Jayalalithaa’s Poes Garden residence on Friday, he said, “I am away from the garden for a long time.” However, no such electronic gadgets were recovered from his house during the raids last week, he claimed. Sidelined AIADMK leader TTV Dhinakaran, nephew of Divakaran, however, sought to downplay the latter’s remarks on Sasikala. “He must have made those comments (on Jayalalithaa not ensuring Sasikala’s protection) out of anguish,” he told reporters at Thanjavur.
I-T sleuths had conducted searches in the office block of the Poes Garden residence of Jayalalithaa, ‘Veda Nilayam’, days after raids at more than 180 locations. Following inputs, a search operation was launched in the office block and a room used by Sasikala, who is now serving a jail term in connection with the Rs 66.65 crore disproportionate assets case.