NEW DELHI: On Friday, Tamil Nadu Public Works Department (PWD) Minister E V Velu, a prominent member of the DMK, came under scrutiny by Central agencies as the Income Tax department carried out raids at approximately 40 locations. These searches included his family’s residences and educational institutions.
The minister is considered close to Chief Minister and DMK President MK Stalin. He is the third cabinet member in the DMK government and the fourth party leader to come under the scanner of law enforcement agencies.
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According to the police, raids were conducted in over 40 locations, including his hometown of Tiruvannamalai as well as homes, workplaces, and educational institutions he owned throughout the state in Chennai, Coimbatore, and Karur.
Income Tax officials also conducted searches at the Arunai Engineering College (AEC) in Thiruvanamalai which was founded in 1993 by EV Velu.
Udhayanidhi Stalin, the CM’s son, claimed that the Enforcement Directorate (ED) and the IT department have evolved into the “political wings” of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP).
In fact, such claims have been made by several other leaders of the opposition bloc including Delhi CM Arvind Kejriwal who was recently summoned to appear before ED regarding the liquor scam case. AAP leader and Rajya Sabha MP Raghav Chadha also termed the law agencies as “BJP agencies”.
In the last few months, federal agents have raided the residences of four senior DMK leaders, including Velu. In connection with a case brought under the Prevention of Money Laundering (PMLA) Act by the ED, which also conducted a raid and questioned Higher Education Minister K Ponmudy, his cabinet colleague V Senthil Balaji is presently being held at Puzhal Central Jail.
S Jagathrakshagan, the MP for Arakkonam, was the target of raids conducted by the IT department last month.