Chennai: Veda Nilayam, the sprawling bungalow located at the upscale Poes Garden area here where J Jayalalithaa stayed for over three decades, is set to become a memorial.
Tamil Nadu Chief Minister K Palanisamy’s announcement on Thursday to this effect has been welcomed by those who had taken exception to Jayalalithaa's close aide VK Sasikala's decision to stay put there.
The bungalow was occupied by Jayalalithaa till her hospitalisation in September last year along with Sasikala.
Prior to Jayalalithaa's burial, her body was brought from the hospital to the Poes Garden residence and kept there briefly before being taken to the Rajaji Hall for public homage.
Sasikala, who took over the party reins after the death of Jayalalithaa in December last year, continued to live there amid murmurs of protest by sections of her partymen.
Though the bungalow, which now remains unoccupied and maintained by a few staff, was thrown open to the public for a while earlier this year, later it has been virtually made out of bounds for the people.
Recently, the house had witnessed a bitter family quarrel during the visit of Jayalalithaa's niece Deepa and nephew Deepak.
Deepa had then alleged that she came there at the invitation of Deepak, but was 'assaulted' there.
As soon as Palanisamy announced in a press conference that Veda Nilayam would be converted into a memorial, security personnel were deployed in large numbers there.
The 10 ground (approx 24,000 square feet) bungalow was bought by Jayalalithaa and her mother Veda in 1967.
Jayalalithaa had hosted several top leaders, including Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Finance Minister Arun Jaitley, at the house. Neighbours include 'superstar' Rajinikanth.
It was from the balcony of the house Jayalalithaa used to greet her followers with her signature 'V' sign on key occasions, including after her back-to-back assembly election victory in May 2016.
According to her affidavit filed for last year assembly elections, Jayalalithaa and her mother Veda had purchased the property on July 15, 1967 at a cost of Rs 1.32 lakh and its value last year was estimated at Rs 72.09 crore.
'Veda' is the name of Jayalalithaa's mother, who was known as Sandhya in the Tamil film world.
Early this year, former chief minister O Panneerselvam, who rebelled against Sasikala, had launched a signature campaign to turn Veda Nilayam into a memorial.
The campaign had evoked good response with large number of people supporting it.
The memorial announcement has paved the way for the much-awaited merger of the two AIADMK factions led by Panneerselvam and Palanisamy....