Ahead of the April 18 Lok Sabha polls, election officials Tuesday held raids at the residence of DMK leader Kanimozhi in Thoothukudi in south Tamil Nadu from where she is contesting. The raids were conducted with the assistance of income tax officials.
Official sources told PTI that the searches were held following “some inputs,” but did not elaborate. However, a senior I-T official told the The Indian Express that the Thoothukudi district administration had said the upper section of the house was being used to store cash.
An I-T official in Chennai told the daily they did not find anything.
Kanimozhi said the searches were being used to ‘terrorise’ the Opposition. “The Election Commission and the Income Tax department have become part of the Modi alliance… They are trying to terrorise opposition parties,” she said, NDTV quoted.
DMK president MK Stalin in a statement at Chennai said the raids were an outcome of “fear of a damning defeat,” for BJP’s candidate in Thoothukudi, Tamilisai Soundararajan. She is also the BJP’s state unit president.
Stalin said, “Crores and crores of rupees are kept in the house of Tamilisai Soundararajan’s (state BJP chief) residence, why no raids there? Modi is using IT, CBI, judiciary and now Election Commission to interfere in the elections. They are doing this as they fear losing.”
Following information about the raids, a large number of DMK workers gathered in front of Kanimozhi’s house expressing solidarity.
Stalin said his party would work towards ushering in reforms in the appointments of Chief Election Commissioner, Election Commissioners and State Chief Electoral Officer.
“If needed, we will not hesitate to approach the Supreme Court,” he said.
The raid at Kanimozhi’s residence came as the EC cancelled the Lok Sabha election to the Vellore constituency two days ahead of the polling following recovery of huge amount of cash allegedly from an associate of a DMK leader recently.
A government notification rescinding the polls said the EC was “fully satisfied that the current electoral process in Vellore has been seriously vitiated on account of unlawful activities of certain candidates and some workers of the political party.”
According to NDTV, Rs 204 crore unaccounted cash has been recovered in Tamil Nadu ahead of polls of which Rs 190 crore has not been attached to any political party or candidate yet.
(With PTI inputs)