Bangalore : Tamil Nadu Chief Minister Jayalalithaa’s close aide Sasikala Natarajan on Saturday claimed in a special court here that DMK chief M Karunanidhi had in 1996 offered to exclude her from the wealth case against the AIADMK supremo if she turned against her.

As the Special Judge concluded recording of her statement, Sasikala, a co-accused, said initially a case was filed only against Jayalalithaa but two months later the names of herself, the AIADMK chief’s disowned foster son V Sudhakaran and her relative Ilavarasi were included.

“The reason for this is that during the two months period, Karunanidhi told us he would let me off if I turn against Jayalalithaa. I did not agree for this. Hence I have been included in this case”, she told Judge M S Balakrishna.

With Saturday’s deposition, Sasikala completed answering 1,032 questions framed by the court in the case relating to alleged amassing of Rs 66 crore disproportionate wealth by Jayalalithaa when she was Chief Minister for the first time between 1991 and 1995.

Jayalalithaa had answered 1,339 questions during her deposition ending in November last year when she maintained that the case against her was ‘politically motivated’ and ‘fabricated’ at the instance of her rival DMK. Responding to questions by the Judge, Sasikala, whose deposition as the second accused began in February this year, said Karunanidhi foisted the disproportionate asset case against Jayalalithaa to defeat her.

“Jayalalithaa is the General Secretary of AIADMK which is a big party in Tamil Nadu. Karunanidhi who could not face Jayalalithaa politically, has filed the case during the DMK rule to defeat her,” she charged.    She said, “in order to tarnish Jayalalithaa’s image, it was repeatedly published in newspaper and telecast on television that Jayalalithaa has amassed Rs 66 crore worth of assets.”

However, Karunanidhi “could not establish the amount in this case. They have wrongly included three of us and included our properties in this case,” she said. She alleged the case, transferred here by the Supreme Court, was not investigated as per Prevention of Corruption Act and the procedure laid down in the Criminal Procedure Code (CrPC).

Sasikala stated that she was running business even before the check period (July 1, 1991-April 30, 1996) and had income through it. She alleged police without properly considering her income and the properties owned by her, had “assigned prior values to the properties. The anti-corruption department on that day has acted at the instigation and instructions of Karunanidhi”.

Sasikala said generally items seized during search are kept in the safe custody with the permission of the court.

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