Enforcement Directorate (ED) officials conducted raids at the residences and offices of several opposition leaders in poll bound Tamil Nadu including that of A Chandrashekhar, the treasurer of Kamal Haasan’s Makkal Needhi Maim. Chandrashekhar is also a close aide of the actor-politician.
In raids conducted at the residences of the MNM Treasurer, an amount of Rs 8 crore was seized. Raids were also conducted at Chandrashekhar’s offices at Madurai and Tiruppur.
In raids conducted by the Income Tax (IT) department since the past one week, around Rs 400 crore of undisclosed income was seized in different parts of Tamil Nadu. The department also seized an "unaccounted" cash of Rs 50 lakh, jewellery worth Rs 3 crore and nine luxury vehicles worth Rs 12.5 crore after the searches on a "group of individuals who are involved in handling huge amount of cash and routing unaccounted money through foreign entities and bank accounts of their related concerns".
The IT Department raided at least 20 places in Chennai, Coimbatore, Kanchipuram and Madurai on March 11 in connection with money distribution ahead of the assembly elections in Tamil Nadu.
The IT cell undertook the raids acting on information received in the Election Commission IT complaint cell. The IT Department, under the Election Commission, had opened a cell to receive information against money distribution, money laundering and such ahead of the polls. A leading bullion trader in Tamil Nadu and a large jewellery retailer came under the IT radar.
Meanwhile, AIADMK MLA K Manickam was left red-faced when he arrived to campaign for the assembly elections at Thandalai village that falls in his constituency of Sholavandan in Madurai, Tamil Nadu.
He was greeted by over 50 women and children who stood before the MLA and held plates filled with rice grains and took his aarti (a ritual held to welcome guests). The rice, which the women said they had bought from the public distribution shops in their area, was yellow and black in colour indicating that they were of poor quality. The women said despite multiple complaints, the local municipality hasn’t initiated any action and asked how they could eat such poor quality rice. “We are also humans like them, how can we eat this? We are dumping this rice as it is not fit to eat.”
The villagers added, “We are voting for the party but what is it doing for us? He (MLA Manickam) has come to this place after five years. Is there a water pipe here? Have you laid proper roads? Even your cars can’t come properly on these roads.”
A discomfited MLA then addressed the villagers and promised to sort out the issue at the earliest.
“The issue didn’t come to my notice, why are people buying if the rice is not of good quality? You could have called me directly and I would have taken the necessary action. I will speak to the officials immediately and ask them to come to this place tomorrow,” he said.
Tamil Nadu goes to the polls on April 6 and the counting will take place on May 2.