Member of Parliament and DMK Organisation Secretary RS Bharathi on Friday wrote to Chief Election Commissioner Sunil Arora and the Chief Electoral Officer of Tamil Nadu, against the searches on the residence and office of Sabareesan, party chief MK Stalinâ€™s son-in-law and daughter Senthamarai. Over 25 officers of the I-T department are currently conducting the searches on Sabareesan, who has been a close advisor of Stalin over the years and is known to be a key strategist for the DMK.
"The Income Tax department has been used as a sword and as a pawn in the hands of the ruling BJP party and there are no reasons as to why these searches are being conducted few days before the election date," the DMK MP said in her letter. Stating that the DMK alliance was likely to see a landslide victory in all 234 Assembly constituencies, along with the fact that DMK chief Stalin had been campaigning against the Chief Minister, Deputy CM and Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Bharathi said, "The entire intention of the AIADMK-BJP led alliance is to somehow or the other, tarnish the image of DMK and sensing a massive victory for DMK, officials of the Income Tax department are misused."
"Unable to bear the huge reception of our party leaders' campaign among the public in Tamil Nadu, ruling BJP misuses and induces the Income Tax Department to threaten our DMK party in one way or another, result of which present raids are being conducted," the letter stated.
The letter argued that the raids were against the Model Code of Conduct and a violation of the Representation of People's Act 1951. "Officials under the garb of discharge of duties are abusing their powers for the purpose of poll prospects of the AIADMK-BJP combine and all the officials involved in these operations should be named and tried in accordance with the law," the MP said.
The letter urged the Election Commission to intervene and direct the I-T department to "refrain itself from abusing its power during the election period, thereby affecting the level playing field of all political parties in the state of Tamil Nadu."
Similar raids were conducted recently on DMK leader EV Veluâ€™s properties in Thiruvannamalai. Raids were also reportedly being conducted on DMK candidate from Karur Senthil Balaji on Friday. Voting to the Tamil Nadu elections are being held on April 6 and results will be announced on May 2.