I-T raids at residences of DMK candidates Senthil Balaji and MK Mohan
Income Tax sleuths conducted searches at DMK’s Karur candidate Senthil Balaji’s residence in Karur on Friday. Earlier on the same day, the Income Tax Department also carried out raids at four properties belonging to Sabareesan, the son-in-law of MK Stalin. One of the properties being searched is a home in Neelankarai, where Sabareesan lives with Senthamarai, Stalin’s daughter. Raids have also been reported from DMK Anna Nagar candidate MK Mohan’s house.
According to reports, Sabareesan is out of town. DMK leaders were said to have come to Sabareesan’s home as a show of support. Only recently, the AIADMK filed a complaint against DMK’s Karur constituency candidate Senthil Balaji. His comments that people would be allowed to load sand in bullock carts, if DMK came to power, caused controversy following which a complaint was filed with the Election Commission.
When his video on the topic went viral, Senthil Balaji claimed that he was only referring to the use of bullock carts for loading sand in Karur. "Karur must be given permission to allow bullock carts to take sands but stealing of sand should be stopped," he had said.
Senthil Balaji was in Jayalalithaa’s cabinet as Transport minister in 2011 and was later dropped in 2015. He caused quite the stir in 2018 when he defected from the AIADMK to join the AMMK first. He was among the 18 disqualified MLAs who went on to support TTV Dinakaran following the split within the party after Jayalalithaa’ demise. Senthil Balaji further surprised many when he defected once again from the AMMK only to join the DMK.
He was elected MLA from the Aravakurichi constituency, from where he contested for the AIADMK in 2016. Senthil Balaji also won from the same constituency during the 2019 bye-elections.
Recently, the Central Crime Branch, Job Racket Wing, filed a chargesheet against Senthil Balaji for his alleged involvement in a scam pertaining to recruitment of transport corporations when he was the Transport Minister in 2011-15. He was with AIADMK at the time, and during 2014-15, investigations showed that Balaji, conspired with the then managing directors of all State Transport Undertakings and others officers of transport corporations to get illegal gratification from candidates in order for them to be hired as driver, conductor, junior tradesman and so on in the transport corporations.