With just four days to go till the Tamil Nadu assembly polls, the Income Tax department on Friday conducted a raid on Senthamarai, DMK chief MK Stalin's daughter's house in Neelankarai. Three other properties belonging to Sabareesan, Stalin’s son-in-law were searched too.
According to reports, as Sabareesan is out of town, DMK cadres were said to have thronged Sabareesan’s house as a show of support. IT sources claimed that the searches were initiated based on complaints and inputs received by the department. Senthamarai runs a CBSE school in Chennai, while Sabareesan, a businessman, advises Stalin on politics and is one of his few trusted men. More than 25 officials are supposedly conducting the searches in Sabareesan and Senthamarai’s properties.
Reacting to the raids, Stalin told the media, “Remember, I am MK Stalin. I have seen MISA [Maintenance of Internal Security Act] itself. I am not scared.” Stalin was referring to the time when he was imprisoned under the MISA during the Emergency. He added that such “intimidation tactics” may work with the ruling All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam, but it will not scare his party,
Income Tax raids were also conducted on Karthick, son of DMK candidate M K Mohan’s residence and properties, who is contesting from Anna Nagar.
According to sources, no documents or cash has been seized by the officials as of yet. Opposition leaders in the meantime have condemned the searches and have termed it a political vendetta.
The searches come a day after Stalin's son Udhayanidhi, at a rally near Coimbatore, questioned what he called the exponential rise in the wealth of Union Home Minister Amit Shah's son Jay Shah. Udhayanidhi also ruffled feathers with his comments alleging that former union ministers Sushma Swaraj and Arun Jaitley died to “torture” and “pressure” exerted by Prime Minister Modi.
Responding to Udhayanidhi, Sushma’s daughter Bansuri Swaraj, requested Udhayanidhi to not use her mother’s memory for his election propaganda. Similarly, Arun Jaitley's daughter Sonali Jaitley Bakhshi also took to Twitter to hit out at the DMK youth leader for his remarks about her father.
This is the second instance of tax raids against DMK leaders ahead of the Tamil Nadu assembly election on April 6.
Last week, party leader EV Velu's home, colleges and guest house were raided for two days by the IT sleuths around the same time when Stalin was campaigning for him in Tiruvannamalai.