Anti-Corruption Raids at Properties of Two Ex-AIADMK Ministers in Tamil Nadu
As many as 26 locations linked to SP Velumani and 13 places linked to C Vijayabaskar are being searched.
The Quint DAILY
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Tamil Nadu's Directorate of Vigilance and Anti-Corruption (DVAC) on Tuesday, 13 September carried out searches at the residences and properties of two former All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (AIADMK) ministers – SP Velumani and Dr C Vijayabaskar – over the allegations of corruption levelled against them.
DVAC has registered a criminal case against former Rural Development minister SP Velumani over the allegation that he had abused his official position in awarding tenders injudiciously to companies, that were closely associated with him, causing a loss of approximately Rs 500 crore to the government exchequer.
What Are the Cases Against the Ministers?
The said tenders were awarded between 2015 and 2018 for replacing the existing street light with LED lights in rural areas. Based on the First Information Report (FIR), searches are being conducted at 26 places including 10 at Chennai, nine at Coimbatore and seven places including Tambaram, Avadi, Trichy and Chengalpattu, noted a press release from DVAC.
The properties of the Thondamuthur MLA were searched for a second time in March this year, by the DVAC, over the allegations that he had disproportionate assets worth Rs 58.93 crore.
Simultaneously, searches are also on at as many as 13 places linked to former Tamil Nadu health minister and present Viralimalai MLA, Vijayabaskar to probe the corruption case registered against him by the DVAC.
Of the 13 locations, five are in Chennai, three in Selam and one each in Madurai, Theni, Pudukottai, Thiruvallur, and Tambaram.
The case has been registered over the irregularities allegedly carried out by the minister in the "Issuance of Essentiality Certificate in 2020 to Vels Medical College and Hospital against the regulations of National Medical Commission."
'DVAC Raids Purely Political, They Want Revenge': AIADMK MP Shanmugam
Speaking to ANI, AIADMK MP CV Shanmugam, who visited the residence of Vijayabaskar amid the raids, said the DVAC searches were purely political adding that it was being carried out by the ruling Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (DMK) government to for taking "revenge."
"We will fight it. They want to supress the Opposition. Stalin government could not fulfil election promises. Taxes raised, EB tariff doubled. He (Vijayabaskar) is living the good way," Shanmugam said.
Meanwhile, police has detained seven AIADMK MLAs and several other party workers who were protesting against the DVAC raids outside the residence of SP Velumani in Coimbatore, reported news agency ANI.
As a precautionary measure, to prevent any untoward incident, security has also been beefed up outside the residence of the two ministers.
In August, the DVAC had conducted searches at the properties of former Namakkal MLA KPP Baskar stating that he had disproportionate assets worth 4.72 crore which was 315 percent more than his known sources of income.
Ever since the DMK government led by MK Stalin came to power in 2021, DVAC raids have taken place against several AIADMK ministers like MR Vijayabaskar, C Vijayabaskar, SP Velumani, Thangamani, KC Veeramani. The Opposition has been calling out the raids saying they are "political vendetta."
(With inputs from ANI, The News Minute.)
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