TAMIL NADU

BJP denies role in I-T raids on Sasikala family

PTI2_14_2017_000270B Sasikala is in Bengaluru jail after being convicted in a corruption case | PTI

Union minister Pon Radhakrishnan said the Central government is not misusing the income tax department to target the V.K. Sasikala-led faction of the AIADMK. This after the IT department said it uncovered cash and documents, belonging to undisclosed income, after conducting numerous raids on premises owned by Sasikala’s relatives and aides. 

Said Radhakrishnan to THE WEEK, “It is wrong to say the BJP government at the Centre is misusing the IT department to settle score. The IT department is an autonomous body and is not biased towards any one political party.” He said it was a disgrace for Tamil Nadu to have leaders like Sasikala who have so much of illegal wealth. “Every politician should be clean. The government of India is working towards a corruption-free India. Unfortunately, there are some corrupt leaders in Tamil Nadu, which is sad. Such raids, across party lines, will deter politicians from making money the wrong way.”

Meanwhile V. Pugazhendhi, the AIADMK secretary and a leader from the Sasikala faction, said what is happening in Tamil Nadu is not right. Pugazhendhi looks after the party affairs in Karnataka. His house was also raided by the IT sleuths some days ago. 

Said Pugazhendhi to THE WEEK, “The BJP is meddling in the affairs of the AIADMK big time. Truth will prevail. I am not scared of anyone. I am not going to say anything more now as the officers are still conducting raids at different places. Once all the raids are over, I will speak to the media. And, mind you, I will have a lot to say.”

The IT department, over the last few days, has raided multiple locations, including the residence of Sasikala in Chennai, premises of Jaya TV and Kodanad Tea Estate, among several other locations in Tamil Nadu, Hyderabad and Bengaluru. In fact, tax officials chartered private cabs and pasted wedding stickers on the windscreens of their vehicles to ward off any chance of suspecion.

According to officials, many AIADMK leaders deposited black money in bank accounts of shell companies to dispatch undisclosed cash. Also, many shell companies in Chennai were all of a sudden activated after demonetisation. 

Tax officials are now planning to open bank lockers of Sasikala’s aides and shell companies. 

Said V.K. Dhivakaran, brother of Sasikala, “As long as we are alive, the BJP will not succeed in their mission.”

Dhivakaran alleged the BJP has a master plan to elevate its state president, Tamilisai Soundararajan, as chief minister of Tamil Nadu after making her win the by-election to R.K. Nagar constituency, which fell vacant after J. Jayalalithaa’s death. 

However, Soundararajan told THE WEEK: “He is simply making baseless allegations. The BJP will come to power in Tamil Nadu soon in the proper manner, and not through the means of implementing the powers of the Union government.”

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