After the Directorate of Vigilance and Anti-Corruption (DVAC) Tuesday raided 60 properties linked to SP Velumani, the former Tamil Nadu municipal administration minister, the AIADMK asked the DMK government to “focus on public welfare” instead of engaging in “political vendetta”.
In a joint statement, opposition leader and AIADMK co-coordinator Edappadi K Palaniswami and coordinator O Pannerselvam said they fear that the current DMK government is taking revenge on former AIADMK ministers and functionaries instead of focusing on public welfare. They said that with “false propaganda being continuously spread against SP Velumani”, the raids conducted today are condemnable.
“The party is always ready to face the false accusations spread against the former minister both legally and politically. However, without any proof, accusing someone of corruption is unfair,” the statement said.
DVAC Tuesday raided 60 properties linked to SP Velumani, the former Tamil Nadu municipal administration minister. In a statement, the officials said they seized Rs 13,08,500/- documents related to land registrations, transport documents of business firms, fixed deposits to the tune of Rs 2 crore. Apart from this, the sleuths added that official records of corporations, electronic hard disks, and other incriminating documents were seized.
The raids began around 7 am, in Coimbatore, Chennai, Kancheepuram, Dindigul, and other places. This comes weeks after a similar operation was carried against former transport minister MR Vijayabaskar.
In Coimbatore, ten MLAs, AIADMK functionaries, and hundreds of supporters gathered in front of Velumani’s residence in Kuniyamuthur. The supporters removed barricades and engaged in a heated argument with the around 50 police personnel deployed there. The protesters staged a dharna and raised slogans against the DMK. The police have registered a case against MLAs, functionaries and cadres under various sections of IPC for unlawful assembly, Epidemic Disease Act, etc.
Velumani was interrogated at the MLA hostel in Chennai for more than six hours on Tuesday. AIADMK cadres gathered in large numbers in front of the place, following which security has been beefed up.
The DVAC has registered a case against the former minister based on a 2018 petition filed by RS Bharathi, Rajya Sabha MP, and V Jayaraman, convenor of NGO Arappor Iyakkam. A total of 17 members have been named in the FIR, including Velumani and his brother P Anbarasan. They have been booked under sections 120 B r/w 420 , 409 IPC, section 13(2) r/w 13 (1) (c) and 13 (1) (d) of Prevention of Corruption Act r/w 109 IPC.
According to the FIR, the minister extended favouritism in the matters of construction and goods/services’ tenders to his brother, their relatives and their associated companies.
“During the year 2014-2018, the total worth of tenders allotted to his closely associated companies is approx Rs 464.02 crores in Greater Chennai Corporation and approx Rs 346.81 crores in Coimbatore Municipal Corporation,” the FIR added.
As per the latest reports, Chandraprakash of the KCP engineering firm, who was also named in the FIR, has been admitted to a private hospital after he developed chest pain.