Ten locations are being searched, including the DMK leader’s residence and office.

File image of DMK Working President MK Stalin with DMK leader E Velu
news 2021 Tamil Nadu Assembly Election Thursday, March 25, 2021 - 14:54

The Income Tax Department on Thursday conducted searches on DMK leader and the party’s candidate from Tiruvannamalai constituency E Velu. According to reports, ten locations are being searched, including the DMK leader’s residence and office. E Velu is a former Minister for Food in the state of Tamil Nadu. 

The raids were carried out even as DMK’s Working President MK Stalin was holding an election rally for him in Tiruvannamalai. According to officials, the raids were being carried out after the department received a tip-off of "cash movements" during the leader's campaign. Searches were also carried out at Arunai Engineering College in Tiruvannamalai, of which E Velu is the founder chairman. also carried out in Chennai. 

This is a fresh round of searches carried out by the Income Tax Department ahead of the Tamil Nadu Assembly elections. Earlier, Income Tax searches were held at the home and office premises of DMK and MDMK members in Tiruppur’s Dharapuram constituency. According to reports, DMK’s Dharapuram Town Secretary KS Dhanasekar, MDMK’s District Joint Secretary and businessman Kavin Nagaraj were searched on March 17. 

In a release, the Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT) recently said that the Income Tax Department has seized "unaccounted" cash of over Rs 16 crore and detected black income of about Rs 80 crore after it raided multiple entities in the poll-bound state. It said the action was part of an election surveillance being carried out by the department for the ensuing assembly elections in Tamil Nadu and Puducherry.

The searches were carried out on March 16 and 17 in Chennai, Tiruppur and Dharapuram. Though the IT department statement had not named anyone, it is believed that these searches were held at the residences and offices of C Chandrasekhar, MNM party treasurer. Chandrasekhar is the Chairman of Anita Texcot Company and also a director in Rajkamal Frontiers company, which he owns along with Kamal Haasan.

"Five premises belong to five entities, who, in addition to their regular business, are also acting as cash handlers. The action resulted in a cash seizure of Rs 5.32 crore," the Board had said in a statement. In another case, searches were carried out against a business group engaged in yarn trading and supply of PPE kits, bags and baby care kits to various state governments.

It was found, the statement alleged, that the group is engaged in the practice of "suppressing" profit by inflating purchases and other expenses.

"The unaccounted income so generated is utilised for making investments in land and expansion of business" the statement said. "The search has resulted in seizure of unaccounted cash of Rs 11.50 crore and total unaccounted income detected so far is Rs 80 crore," it said.

Polls to the 234-seat Tamil Nadu Assembly will be held in a single phase on April 6.

With PTI inputs

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