Income tax raids on DMK leader E.V. Velu’s premises across Tamil Nadu

Published : March 25, 2021 20:27 IST

E.V. Velu, DMK candidate for Tiruvannamalai constituency. Photo: The Hindu Archives

The Income Tax Department on March 25 raided multiple premises of a leader of the Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (DMK) in Tamil Nadu even as campaigning was under way for the Assembly election, voting for which is to be held on April 6. As many as 18 premises belonging to E.V. Velu, the DMK’s Tiruvannamalai district secretary and former Minister, were searched.

Velu was with party president M.K. Stalin, who was campaigning in the district, when the officials arrived. They announced that they would be searching premises belonging to him across the State. Velu runs engineering, arts and science, medical and polytechnic colleges and schools and also has other business ventures. His house in Chennai was also a target of the raid.

The DMK questioned the intentions of the BJP and the AIADMK behind the raids. “They [Income Tax Department] have the right to conduct raids,” said DMK general secretary Durai Murugan. “But the DMK considers this raid as one which has been conducted with a political motive because apart from searching the school and college premises, they also searched the guest house where our leader [M.K. Stalin] was staying [Both Stalin and Velu had left for campaigning]. We condemn this act. There is nothing of value in that guest house which warranted a raid. His [Stalin’s] room was searched too. This is nothing but a desperate act on the part of the AIADMK, which has instigated the Central government to conduct a raid…. Both the AIADMK and the BJP are aware that they will not be able to stop the DMK from winning this election. That is why they are misusing their official powers.

C.T. Ravi, the BJP’s Tamil Nadu in charge, claimed that only those who had black money needed to be worried. The Income Tax Department functioned on the basis of credible information that it received, he added.

Velu is the sitting MLA in Tiruvannamalai and is contesting the seat again. He was Food Minister in the 2006 Karunanidhi Cabinet. Earlier, the department had raided the Makkal Needhi Maiam (MNM) treasurer A. Chandrasekaran on March 17 and recovered cash to the tune of Rs.11.5 crore. The MNM founder and actor, Kamal Haasan, distanced himself from the raids and claimed that these were politically motivated. The same day, raids were conducted on the residence of DMK’s Dharapuram city secretary K. Dhanasekaran and Marumalarchi Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam’s (MDMK) Tiruppur Assistant Secretary Kavin Sekaran.

On March 3, the Income Tax Department raided the premises of two groups of contractors in Madurai and Ramanathapuram districts and found Rs.3 crore in cash and Rs.175 crore in unaccounted income.

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