DMK leader Kanimozhi's house raided; I-T Department says 'false tip'
The Income Tax Department in Tamil Nadu on Tuesday evening conducted raids at DMK leader Kanimozhi's house to "verify" allegations of "lots of cash" being stashed on the first-floor of her Thoothukudi residence. I-T Department sources, however, said it was a "false tip"; no case was registered. Kanimozhi, DMK chief MK Stalin's sister, is the Lok Sabha candidate for the Tuticorin seat. Here's more.
Kanimozhi said the raids are being conducted to intimidate her. "The Election Commission and Income Tax department have become part of the Modi alliance... They are trying to terrorize opposition parties," she said.
"...Crores of rupees are kept in the house of Tamilisai Soundararajan's (Tamil Nadu BJP chief) residence, why no raids there?" Stalin said. "Modi is using IT, CBI, judiciary, and now Election Commission to interfere in the elections. They are doing this as they fear losing," he added. Elections for 39 LS seats and 18 Assembly seats in Tamil Nadu are scheduled for Thursday.
A series of raids have been conducted in Tamil Nadu in the run-up to elections; around Rs. 500 crore, in illegal cash and gold, was seized. Vellore LS seat election was canceled after cash was recovered from DMK candidate Kathir Anand's alleged associates. Earlier, Rs. 10.5 lakh was seized from DMK treasurer Durain Murugan and Rs. 11.53 crore from a DMK leader's associate.
Last week, the I-T Department conducted raids at 18 locations in Tamil Nadu, including Chennai, Namakkal, and Tirunelveli. Most of these searched were conducted on properties belonging to opposition leaders. Raids on opposition party leaders became a key issue in the ongoing elections; most opposition leaders are accusing BJP of targeting political rivals using government agencies.
DMK spokesperson A Saravanan called the raids "a murder of democracy and a sick joke." He added, "This is not an embarrassment for us, but this will backfire and the sympathy this would generate will make the DMK win all seats."