DVAC raid on ex-MLA is an attempt to derail party functioning, says AIADMK

Former MLA KPP Baskar is the eighth AIADMK leader to be raided by Tamil Nadu's anti-corruption body in a year.

ByUmar Sharieef

Published Aug 12, 2022 | 6:39 PM Updated Aug 12, 2022 | 6:39 PM

KPP Baskar

Tamil Nadu’s Directorate of Vigilance and Anti-Corruption (DVAC), early on Friday, 12 August, raided properties linked to two-time AIADMK legislator KPP Baskar across the state.

Baskar is a close aide of Edappadi Palaniswami, the interim general secretary of the AIADMK.

According to officials, 24 places in Namakkal, one in Madurai, and another in Tiruppur were raided.

In March, the DVAC had raided 58 properties of former AIADMK minister SP Velumani.

DVAC officials, in a press release, said Baskar had accumulated ₹4.72 crore in assets, which is 315 percent more than his legal income.

The DVAC FIR, accessed by South First, said, “There was Vigilance information that the 1st accused… K.P.P. Baskar, during his tenure as MLA of Namakkal… from 2011 to 2021, has acquired… moveable and immovable properties in his name and the name of his wife… B. Uma (A2), which are disproportionate to his known sources of income.”

‘Lawful income only ₹1.4 crore’

It noted the former MLA had a total lawful income of only ₹1.4 crore in the period 2016 to 2021 — his second term as legislator.

The complaint alleged that, after expenses of ₹61 lakh, the balance ought to be approximately ₹88 lakh. The MLA and his family, however, acquired properties worth ₹4.72 crore in this period.

As the raids continued, former ministers Saroja and Thangamani, along with supporters of the former MLA, gathered at his house, forcing the police to beef up security.

Senior AIADMK leaders have alleged that the DVAC raids on Baskar in Namakkal were politically motivated and a move to derail the functioning of the party.

‘Attempt to derail the AIADMK’

“The DMK is trying its best to emerge as the most potent political party in the state by continuously attacking the opposition (AIADMK). They will not succeed,” Kovai Sathyan, AIADMK’s official spokesperson, told South First.

He also said anti-incumbency was now visible in Tamil Nadu.

“Usually, the anti-incumbency begins only when the elections are near. However, in Tamil Nadu, it was created just 15 months after the election of the DMK. People cannot be deceived just by these raids. They are aware of everything,” Sathyan said.

When asked about the party’s next move, Sathyan said AIADMK leaders would meet to decide the future course of action.

Two days back, Palaniswami had, in Ranipet, accused the DMK of corruption. “The DMK has looted ₹20,000 crore in just 14 months,” said, adding that Chief Minister MK Stalin was “only capable of posing for photographs” for the media.

“Look at the timing of the raid. The DVAC raided just two days after EPS accused the DMK. What are they trying to say?” Sathyan said, adding that Baskar is the eighth AIADMK leader to be raided by the DVAC.

“If DMK is accusing AIADMK leaders of corruption, why don’t they take action against them and put them behind bars? They have been alleging AIADMK to be a corrupt party all these years and claim they have the evidence; so what are they waiting for? Isn’t this a step to derail the functioning of the AIADMK,” Sathyan asked.

‘It is political animosity’ 

Senior leader and MGR Mandram Secretary C Ponnaiyan told South First that the raids on AIADMK leaders were a result of “political animosity”.

“The DMK cannot stop AIADMK from functioning by filing fake cases against the party leaders. These are attempts to frame EPS and the party,” he said.

Ponnaiyan was in the headlines a few weeks back over a leaked audio of him saying EPS has little support. The audio was leaked by Nanjil Kolappan, a supporter of ousted leader O Panneerselvam.

Though Ponnaiyan charged that Nanjil had doctored the clip, EPS removed him from the position of party organising secretary a day later, and appointed him secretary of the MGR Mandram.

Another former leader, who didn’t want to be named, told South First that the DMK was conspiring to destroy the party through raids.

“AIADMK has seen much more than this, and no such raids can harm the party or its leaders. DMK’s hope of derailing the party will remain a dream,” he said.

DMK assures action

DMK spokesperson and lawyer, Kannadasan, told South First that the party would continue its actions against those who have been raided so far, and denied it was an attempt to target the AIADMK.

“All those who have been raided will be punished. It is DVAC procedure to raid and file an FIR, and the arrests will follow only after that. Let the AIADMK members and leaders relax until the concerned officials finish the case. They will be punished,” Kannadasan said.

He added the DMK was not the BJP to threaten people using raids.

“We want the AIADMK to function. They are our opposition, not our enemy,” he said.