AIADMK senior leaders and former Tamil Nadu Chief Ministers O Panneerselvam and K Palaniswami have condemned the DVAC raids at the premises of former Minister and party leader P Thangamani and said that the searches were politically motivated. The Directorate of Vigilance and Anti Corruption (DVAC) department had carried out raids on the premises of former Electricity Minister of Tamil Nadu, Thangamani since Wednesday, December 15.
A total of 69 premises of the minister and his close associates in many districts of Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh and Karnataka were raided. The allegation against Thangamani, his wife and son, who also have been named in the FIR, was that he acquired a little over Rs 4.85 crore assets disproportionate to known sources of income during the check period of May 2016 to March 2020. The FIR was registered in Namakkal under sections of IPC and Prevention of Corruption Act, 1988.
Thangamani held the Electricity and Prohibition and Excise portfolios in the previous AIADMK regime of 2016-21. He represents the Kumarapalayam Assembly constituency in the present House.
OPS and EPS in a joint statement said, "The DVAC raids were conducted due to political vendetta. This is to divert the attention of people from the poor governance as well as due to the issues within the DMK relating to dynastic politics being adopted by the Chief Minister and his family."
The leaders said that the raids were conducted after the DMK panicked at the growing popularity of the AIADMK at the grassroots level across the state. The second rung leaders of the DMK have already started projecting Udayanidhi Stalin as the next leader, the statement added. The leaders also targeted Stalin's son-in-law Sabareesh and said that the latter has full control over the DMK.
The leaders said that several DMK functionaries are airing their views on the dynastic politics in the party and this has led to the ruling party choosing its best tool of conducting raids on opposition party functionaries. The former Chief Ministers said that the AIADMK is a political party that won't wilt under pressure and said that the party will face the raids and subsequent police cases just like it had fought during the period of M. Karunanidhi and the DMK.
In some places, AIADMK supporters gathered outside where the searches were on and raised slogans against the DMK and police.
Thangamani is the fifth former minister from the main opposition party in the state to come under the vigilance scanner over alleged disproportionate assets, with the others being MR Vijayabhaskar, SP Velumani, KC Veeramani and C Vijayabaskar.
With IANS and PTI inputs