IT Raids DMK Leader Velu’s Home, Other Locations

Chennai:  On a day when DMK President M.K. Stalin was campaigning in Tamil Nadu’s Tiruvannamalai for party’s senior leader E.V.Velu for the April 6 assembly polls, Income Tax officials on Thursday searched the candidate’s home and several other locations.

The district Secretary and former minister is seeking re-election from Tiruvannamalai constituency.

The IT Department, when contacted, declined to reveal if anything was confiscated during the raids at the premises of Velu’s college and his residences at Tiruvannamalai and Chennai.

Velu, who is the owner of an engineering college and polytechnic, is considered as one of the main fundraisers of the party.

Completing his campaign, Stalin and others returned to the guest house located in Velu’s engineering college in the district. IT sleuths had also conducted raids at the guest house where Stalin had stayed overnight.

Reacting to the searches, DMK Treasurer Duraimuragan said that the raids were done with a political motive.

“The searches are being carried out as the DMK cannot be defeated in the polls,” he said.

DMK leader K.N. Nehru told IANS: “The central agencies are swooping down on the DMK and opposition parties to try and intimidate the party leadership. However, they don’t understand that DMK is a political party which has faced tough weathers and emerged stronger… our connectivity is with the grass root voter and the poor and the downtrodden. We are not afraid of any raids as our hands are clean.”

The IT Department on March 15 conducted raids at the office premises of MNM leader and party state Treasurer Chandrashekar at Dharapuram and said they had unearthed unaccounted money to the tune of Rs 11.5 crore and also found misappropriation in the accounts to the tune of RS 80 crore. MNM chief and superstar, Kamal Haasan and his caravan, were also intercepted at Coimbatore and searched but nothing was seized.

The opposition is seeking to portray the raids as victimisation while the BJP and the AIADMK are coming out with figures of the funds being unearthed.

Talking to IANS, BJP spokesman R.T. Raghavan said: “The raids are not intimidation tactics of the Central government, but is the routine duty being carried out by the departments concerned. Why are these people afraid when unaccounted money is being seized. This shows that huge money is being stacked to lure the voters and opposition parties are scurrying for cover when money is being unearthed in large volumes.”