‘Will leave politics if charges proved’: TN Min SP Velumani denies graft allegations

The DMK has written to the DVAC, seeking action against the Minister for allegedly handing out government contracts to his aides.
‘Will leave politics if charges proved’: TN Min SP Velumani denies graft allegations
‘Will leave politics if charges proved’: TN Min SP Velumani denies graft allegations
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Tamil Nadu Minister SP Velumani, accused of awarding government contracts to his friends and associates, has hit back at the DMK, which has written to the Directorate of Vigilance and Anti-Corruption (DVAC) seeking a probe into graft allegations.

Speaking to media persons in Delhi after an event on Tuesday, the Minister for Municipal Administration and Rural Development said, “I have not committed even the smallest of mistakes using my authority as Minister. If the charges against me are proven, I will leave politics. I will resign from the post of district secretary given to me by Amma and step aside. If the charges against me are not proven, Stalin should resign as DMK President and Leader of the Opposition and give the post to his senior in the party, Duraimurugan or his older brother, MK Alagiri.”

The Minister, who was responding to DMK President MK Stalin calling for his resignation, also said that the DMK’s Organising Secretary RS Bharathi, who had filed the complaint on behalf of the party, was being investigated by the Vigilance department as well. 

The primary allegation against the Minister is that firms run by his friends and close associates had bagged government contracts worth hundreds of crores in a Department overseen by him.

“My department has not been misused to give tenders. There are several rules. When a company is started, it develops step by step. Their (DMK's aides) are also running several factories, including liquor factories,” Velumani countered. 

The minister alleged that the DMK wanted to tear the AIADMK apart. In a reference to Rajan Chandrasekaran, one of the alleged benamis named in the DMK's complaint, Velumani said, "A young man who is the district in-charge of the Youth Wing of the party in Coimbatore runs a publication...In a short span of time, Nammadhu Amma (the publication) is doing well. They could not stand that. We are also planning to launch a television channel to explain the achievements of our Government. When we are achieving one by one, they want to file false charges to break us."

The letter written by DMK alleges that ‘benami’ companies – P Senthil & Co, KCP Engineers Private Limited, Constromall Goods Private Limited, Vardhan Infrastructure, Constronics India, Aalayam Foundation Private Limited and Invicta Meditek Limited – not only experienced a jump in their profits after being awarded corporation contracts in Coimbatore and Chennai, but some of them were also inexperienced.  

The party also alleged irregularities in the tender process of the Smart City Mission scheme. 

Commenting on the litany of complaints that the DMK has raised with the DVAC, Velumani remarked, “They gave petitions on the Chief Minister and the Deputy Chief Minister. I thought they will come to me later, but they have come sooner. I come from an ordinary farming family. Amma has given me the Municipal Administration Department, a portfolio that DMK's MK Stalin once held.” 

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