DMK is trying to hide its failures through DVAC raids: AIADMK

DVAC sleuths carried out raids at 39 places across Tamil Nadu owned by former ministers SP Velumani and Vijayabaskar.

ByUmar Sharieef

Published Sep 13, 2022 | 4:27 PM Updated Sep 13, 2022 | 4:28 PM

Vehicles of DVAC officials

The Directorate of Vigilance and Anti-Corruption of Tamil Nadu on Tuesday, September 13, put two former ministers — both AIADMK leaders — under the scanner in two separate corruption cases.

DVAC investigators raided 39 places — including some in Chennai, Pudukottai, and Salem — owned by former ministers SP Velumani and Vijayabaskar.

As soon as the raids began, cadres and supporters of the ministers thronged their residences to extend their support, accusing the DMK of intimidation through such raids.

The AIADMK, meanwhile, said the raids were an attempt by the DMK to hide its failures.

‘DMK is trying to hide its failures’ 

Kovai Sathyan, the official spokesperson of the AIADMK, told South First that the DVAC raids on the former ministers were an attempt by the DMK to divert attention from the failures of the party.

“The DMK has resorted to using the DVAC to carry out raids on our former ministers as it has no other way to hide its failures before the public. The recent announcements, like the hike in the power tariff, have not gone down well with the public, which is why the DMK had to resort to its old strategy,” he said.

The Opposition leader and AIADMK interim general secretary Edappdi K Palaniswamy on Monday announced a statewide protest against the DMK on 16 September for the power tariff hike.

A day after his announcement, the former ministers — both from the EPS faction of the AIADMK — are on the radar of the DVAC.

Sathyan further told South First that the raids, especially on Velumani, were an attempt to dominate the western part of Tamil Nadu.

“The AIADMK is a solid and dominating force in the west. The DMK could not win the belt in the Assembly election, and so has decided to create fear among us. The consecutive failures of the DMK exposed it before the public. The party is relying on the DVAC to hide all that,” he added.

“Has the DMK found any incriminating evidence against our ministers in its 15 months of power?” Sathyan asked.

Third raid on two ministers 

This is the third raid that the DVAC has carried out on the two former ministers. However, the raid on Velumani assumes significance as the DMK, even when it was the Opposition, continuously accused him of corruption.

The two earlier DVAC raids on Velumani took place in March and July.

In Tuesday’s raid, the DVAC claimed in its case details that Velumani abused his official position as municipal administration minister in awarding tenders injudiciously — to companies closely associated with him — for replacing street lights with LED lights in rural areas.

This, it said, caused a loss of ₹500 crore to the exchequer.

However, in the raids against C Vijayabaskar, the FIR by the DVAC accused him of issuing an Essentiality Certificate to Vels Medical College Hospital in the Tiruvallur district, certifying it as a full-fledged 250 bed-hospital even as it was under construction.

“The former minister and the director of Medical Services obtained undue financial advantage from the college management,” the FIR added.

Sathyan told South First that the raid on Velumani was an attempt to sabotage his image in western Tamil Nadu.

He termed the raid on Vijayabaskar, who hails from the Pudukottai district, an attempt to hide the failures of DMK in that region.

He claimed that wherever the DMK had not done its job or any of its MLAs, ministers or MPs failed to do their job — and instead came to lead a group of thugs to collect massive money from the public or shopkeepers for their benefits — it would use the DVAC to conduct raids and hush up the issue.

It had become a pattern for the DMK, he added.

MLAs, supporters detained 

The police detained six AIADMK MLAs — Amal Kandasamy, Amman Arjunan, S Dhamotharan, Kandasamy, Arunkumar, and AK Selvaraj — who gathered at Velumani’s house to extend their support and protest against the raid.

Dhamotharan, the MLA from Kinathukadavu, told South First that the police detained them in three marriage halls merely for gathering before the minister’s house.

“The police pulled at us, and some of us are hurt. The police didn’t give us respect and pulled us all into a van. It was not the same during the AIADMK regime. We sat silently and didn’t create any law-and-order issue,” he said.

Asked why he didn’t see the preventive arrest as a step to avert any law-and-order issue, the MLA replied, “We are not interfering in police activities. They should not interfere with ours either.”

Palaniswami tweeted that the DMK was trying to bury the power tariff hike issue through the DVAC raids, and demanded that the government release the AIADMK MLAs and cadres who had been detained.

DMK spokespersons didn’t respond to phonecalls from South First.