All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam supremo and former Tamil Nadu Chief Minister Jayalalithaa passed away on Monday night. Her loyalist O Panneerselvam was swiftly sworn in as chief minister on Tuesday morning.
While the political succession has been taken care of for the time being, there is another question that looms large. Jayalalithaa has left behind properties worth crores. However, she has had little contact with her family members. Even her niece could not visit her at the hospital where she was admitted on September 22.
As of Tuesday evening, the AIADMK had not come out with any announcement on whether Jayalalithaa had left behind a will to take care of her assets.
As per the declaration Jayalalithaa made during the May 2016 Assembly elections, her total assets were worth Rs 113.73 crore. Crucially, Jayalalithaa did not name anyone in the dependent columns.
Her wealth included Rs 10.63 crore worth of bank deposits.
Investments in five firms – Shri Jaya Publications, Sasi Enterprises, Kodanad Estate (which holds hundreds of acres in the pristine Nilgiris hills), Royal Valley Floritech Exports and Green T Estate – amount to Rs 27.4 crore.
Her jewellery is valued at Rs 41.63 crore and she also owns nine vehicles.
Immovable assets include Rs 14.7 crore worth of agricultural land and residential and commercial buildings, including her Poes Garden residence amounting to Rs 43 crore.
Her aide Sasikala is a partner in some of the firms. Also, a number of these assets were seized as part of proceedings in the disproportionate assets case pending before the Supreme Court.
Apart from her personal assets, the AIADMK as a party also holds large sums, estimated to be over Rs 100 crore.
Jayalalithaa was a hugely popular cinema star who acted in over 140 movies. In 1968, she was the highest paid actress in Tamil cinema and had often said that many of her assets came from her personal earnings.
But between 1991 and 1996 when she was the chief minister, Jayalalithaa famously declared that she would take only Re 1 as salary.