Sources said the raids – which began 8 am Friday – were based on “credible” information on movement of cash meant to bribe voters ahead of next week’s election
The Income Tax Department found only Rs 1.36 lakh in cash after a day-long raid of the Chennai residence of DMK chief MK Stalin’s daughter and son-in-law, sources told NDTV on Saturday, adding that no other seizure was made during raids at a total of four locations in the state.
The cash has also been returned to the assesses, the sources said, after family members produced documents accounting for the money they said was for household purposes.
The sources said the raids – which began 8 am Friday – were based on “credible” information on movement of cash allegedly meant to bribe voters ahead of next week’s Assembly election.
The DMK, though, is furious at the timing of the allegations and raids.
Tamil Nadu votes for a new Assembly on Tuesday and the party – which heads an opposition alliance that includes the Congress – called the raids “politically motivated” and an example of the misuse of agencies by the BJP government at the centre and the AIADMK government in the state.
A furious MK Stalin said the people would “give a clear verdict on April 6 for this miscalculation”.
“I am MK Stalin. This Stalin has faced Emergency and MISA. I won’t be scared because of these IT raids. PM Modi should know that we aren’t AIADMK leaders who prostrate themselves before him,” he said at an election rally yesterday.
On Friday morning a group of 25 Income Tax officials showed up in Chennai’s Neelangarai – the home of Sabareesan, Mr Stalin’s son-in-law and his key strategist and adviser.
Locations linked to Sabareesan’s associates – Karthik (the son of the DMK candidate from Chennai’s Anna Nagar) and Bala – were also searched.
The raids came a day after Mr Stalin’s son questioned what he called the “exponential rise in wealth” of Union Home Minister Amit Shah’s son, Jay Shah.
“Instead of my sister, why don’t you guys come and raid my home. I dare you guys. I am Kalaignar’s grandson. We won’t be scared by these raids,” Udhayanidhi Stalin, who has since also been slammed for crass comments about late senior BJP leaders Sushma Swaraj and Arun Jaitley, said.
There were separate raids on former minister Senthil Balaji and his brother Annadurai – the Tiruvannamalai MP – as well Murasoli – the Thanjavur North MLA and the DMK’s Union Secretary.
Friday was the second instance of tax raids ahead of the election, which is largely a straight fight between the ruling AIADMK (allied with the BJP) and the DMK (allied with the Congress).
Last month, senior DMK leader and candidate EV Velu, 70, was raided on the basis of what Income Tax officials called “credible inputs of cash movement“.
The raids – apparently timed as MK Stalin was campaigning for him – were carried out at 10 locations, including EV Velu’s home in Tiruvannamalai and the temporary residence of Mr Stalin.
Officials claimed a large amount of cash was seized from the politician.
The results of the Tamil Nadu election will be declared declared on May 2.