Mere days ahead of the tell all battle in RK Nagar for late Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa's legacy, explosive allegations have emerged against the top candidates in this bye poll. The candidates of both AIADMK factions, the DMK and BJP have been accused of undervaluing their assets in the affidavits submitted to the Election Commission.
An analysis of all 62 candidates' financial and criminal backgrounds was conducted by the Association for Democratic Reforms (ADR) and the Arappor Iyakkam, both non-political social outfits. The organisations say that while TTV Dhinakaran of the AIADMK (Amma) faction has undervalued his property by Rs 14 crore, E Madhusudhanan of the AIADMK (Puratchi Thalaivi) faction has undervalued his assets by Rs 30 crore. While these numbers maybe striking, the DMK and BJP are not too far off in this race of untruths, claims the Arappor Iyakkam.
Anomalies in the affidavits
"Dhinakaran for instance has a property that is over 8,000 sq ft in Adyar. He has valued this land plus the construction on it at Rs 1.13 crore," says Jayaram Venkatesan of the Arappor Iyakkam. "But if you go by the current market value, that land by itself is worth Rs 13.09 crore. Even if you were to follow the conservative guideline value, it comes up to Rs 4.36 crore. That is four times the value he has declared," he explains. Guideline value is the estimated market value of a land as per Government records.
That is not all, the Mylapore property that Dhinakaran has declared is estimated to be worth Rs 13.13 lakh according to the guideline value. But his affidavit reportedly claims the property is worth only Rs 10.88 lakh.
"Please explain to us how a property that is 8,000 sq ft in a prime location such as Adyar, can only cost over a crore?" asks Deepa Seshadri of the Association for Democratic Reforms. "If Mr. Dhinakaran is ready to sell it at that price, I promise there will be many takers," she adds.
According to the Arappor Iyakkam, Madhusudhanan has declared 30 acres of land he owns in Tiruvallur District to be worth only Rs 80 lakhs. "The market value of that land today is Rs.7.5 crore at least," says Jayaram. "That is not all, his three acres of land in Thirunindravur which he claims to be Rs 15 lakh, has a market value of Rs 20 crore," he claims.
While DMK candidate Maruthu Ganesh has allegedly not mentioned the value of the land he owns in Old Washermenpet, BJP candidate Gangai Amaran has declared his total assets to only be worth Rs 24 lakh.
"Gangai Amaran has been part of the film industry for a long time now and it is not believable that his assets could only be worth this much. Plus, he has claimed an income of Rs 17 lakh per annum. It just doesn't add up," says Jayaram.
Set to confront the Election Commission
The ADR and Arappor Iyakkam plans to confront the Election Commission with their report on Thursday. "It is a complete failure on the part of the Returning Officer. He is expected to analyse these affidavits carefully, not just glance through it. He has failed miserably in his duty. We will be complaining against him as well," says Jayaram.
The outfits want an FIR to be filed against the candidates for 'undervaluing their assets'. "Once an FIR is filed, the investigation process will begin," says Deepa. "But we will also be pushing for a fast track court because if the verdict in this case takes years to be delivered, this finding will have no value," she adds.
Read more about the RK Nagar bye-poll candidates here.