AIADMK organising secretary C Ponnaiyan on Sunday denied having said that the Directorate of Vigilance and Anti Corruption (DVAC) would challenge the order passed by the Madras High Court to conduct a CBI probe into the alleged irregularities in awarding contracts by the highways department, which is CM Edappadi Palanswami’s portfolio. He stated that his words were misreported.
The senior leader was addressing the press at his Annanagar residence in Chennai, when he said that DMK President MK Stalin had misquoted him, the Hindu reported.
“I never said that DVAC will appeal against the court order. This is wrong. DVAC is an autonomous institution and it abides by the court order. I had said DVAC may go on an appeal,” the senior leader was quoted as stating.
He also argued that CM Edappadi K Palaniswami was the first person to bring the tender in the highways department, and stated that when the DMK was in power, it followed a ‘box’ tender system.
“After EPS became Chief Minister, he made it online. And for the first time in this country, all the payments will be made through RTGS, doing away with the system of bank guarantee, by Palaniswami,” Ponnaiyan added.
Ponniyan also said that the World Bank Guidelines for tenders were followed in the tender process in question. On Friday, Ponnaiyan said that the DVAC might appeal against the High Court’s decision to conduct a CBI probe into the inquiry. Reacting to this, MK Stalin had alleged that the investigating agency was completely under the control of the ruling party.
On October 12, the Madras High Court dismissed the report submitted by the state vigilance and anti-corruption wing and ordered a CBI probe into allegations of corruption in the awarding of government road contracts. It was following this that Ponnaiyan said that the DVAC might appeal against the HC order for CBI probe. Reacting to this, Stalin remarked that by making Ponnaiyan answer the charges, the CM who is “pitiably clinging to power” has confirmed that the charges against him are true. He also added that the HC order has exposed that the autonomy of bodies such as DVAC and the Chief Vigilance Commissioner has been comprised by the AIADMK.