Chennai: Officials of the Income Tax (IT) department on Friday conducted searches at the residence of Senthamarai who is the daughter and son-in-law of Opposition DMK President M.K. Stalin, and her husband Sabareesan.
IT department sources said that more than 25 officials were conducting searches at Senthamarai’s Neelangarai residence on the ECR and his office premises in Chennai, including a real estate firm.
Central para-military forces were also deployed during the raids. The IT officials also knocked at the doors of Sabareesan’ s associates, Karthik Mohan, who is also the DMK IT Wing member, and G-Square Bala.
The searches were also held at DMK Annanagar MLA M K Mohan’s house. The DMK strongly condemned the raids at Senthamarai’s house and termed it as politically motivated by the BJP-led NDA regime at the Centre.
Having a dig at Prime Minister Narendra Modi for the raids, Mr Stalin, while campaigning in Ariyalur said that ‘I got news of a raid going on at my daughter’s house in Chennai.’ Stating that he would not be cowed down by such raids, he said ‘the Modi government is saving the AIADMK government now…I want to tell Mr Modi that this is DMK, don’t forget that, I’m the son of Kalaignar (late DMK Chief M Karunanidhi)’.
‘I will not be scared with this: This Stalin has faced MISA, emergency. They think they can scare us with the raids, this may happen with AIADMK, but this will not happen with DMK’, he added.
DMK general secretary Duraimurugan said when parties were on the verge of completing the campaign and looking forward to the day of polling, the I-T searches in the residence of Senthamarai was due to ‘political vendetta’.
The Centre has made a ‘wrong calculation’ that raids just ahead of the election would shock Stalin, his family and the party and also weaken poll preparations, he told reporters. “The DMK will not be scared by raids’, he added.
The raids were being held in the backdrop of searches conducted at former Minister and sitting DMK MLA E V Velu’s properties in Tiruvannamalai, from where he is seeking re-election in the April six Assembly elections, and Chennai.
The searches were also held at the college premises of Velu where Mr Stalin stayed while campaigning for Mr Velu. THe IT department said the searches were held in ten places following reports of cash movement.
The raids led to the seizure of Rs 3.5 crore unaccounted cash.