Searches at the home and premises of EV Velu, which started while DMK President MK Stalin was campaigning for the party's senior leader in Tiruvannamalai, wound up on Friday. Income Tax sleuths combed his home, colleges and guest house that he owns. The district Secretary and former Minister is seeking re-election from Tiruvannamalai constituency.
The IT Department declined to reveal if anything was confiscated during the raids at the premises of Velu's college and his residences at Tiruvannamalai and Chennai. Velu, who is the owner of an engineering college and polytechnic, is considered as one of the main fundraisers of the party.
The IT sleuths completed the raids at 5 pm in Tiruvannamalai and around 110 staffers were involved in the raids. In a response to the raids, EV Velu reportedly accused BJP of unleashing the IT raid and diminishing his chances of victory in order to increase the prospects of their candidate, reports quoted him as saying. He also said that the raids confined him to his homes for two days and ruined his schedule.
EV Velu is set to face BJP candidate S Thanigaivel at Tiruvannamalai constituency on April 6 Assembly elections.
Talking to IANS, BJP spokesman RT Raghavan said, "The raids are not intimidation tactics of the Central government, but is the routine duty being carried out by the departments concerned. Why are these people afraid when unaccounted money is being seized? This shows that huge money is being stacked to lure the voters and opposition parties are scurrying for cover when money is being unearthed in large volumes."
The IT Department on March 15 conducted raids at several places including the office of MNM leader and party state Treasurer Chandrashekar at Dharapuram. BJP state unit president L Murugan is contesting from Dharapuram.
(With IANS inputs)