Facing heat over the recent allegations of corruption levelled against his ministers, Chief Minister Edappadi Palaniswami addressed the media over the issue yet again, claiming that the charges against Ministers have not been proved yet. The Opposition in Tamil Nadu has been demanding the resignation of the two ministers. Health Minister Vijayabhaskar is under the scanner in connection with the gutkha scam. Tamil Nadu Minister for Municipal Administration and Rural Development SP Velumani has been accused of awarding government contracts to his close friends and associates.
"This government is doing very well in all spheres. The accusations (against Velumani) are not true. There are no complaints in any department. Vested interests want to spoil the good name of the Amma government. That's why they spread news like this," he told the media.
The DMK has written to the Directorate of Vigilance and Anti-Corruption (DVAC) seeking a probe into graft allegations against Velumani. The allegations against the Minister came to light on September 7 when a news channel aired an investigation into government contracts allegedly awarded to close friends and associates of the Minister. The Minister is alleged to have allowed companies owned by his close aides to bid for the same tender, in violation of tender rules.
Meanwhile, the CBI had carried out searches on Wednesday at over 40 locations in Chennai and other districts in connection with the gutkha scam. This included the residences of state health minister C Vijayabaskar and Director General of Police TK Rajendran.
The Health minister's alleged involvement in the gutkha scam has proven to be fodder for the opposition to launch constant attacks against the government. Vijayabaskar is the only minister within the ruling government to face heat from both the income tax and CBI in the same year. His name figured in alleged gutkha dealer Madhava Rao's diary recovered during searches conducted by the I-T department in 2017.