Back-to-back troubles for DMK: Senior TN Minister faces IT raids...Here's what we know so far!

Weeks after the Income Tax (IT) department raided the properties linked to veteran DMK MP Jagathrakshakan, the central agency has now stormed into the properties connected to senior Tamil Nadu Minister EV Velu, who is known for his proximity to the DMK high command. EV Velu is also one of the powerful ministers of Tamil Nadu, serving as the Minister for Public Works Department, Highways, and Minor Ports. 

A long time DMK associate, EV Velu has been regarded as one of the wealthiest leaders in the party as his family runs several institutions including colleges. A native of Tiruvannamalai district, Velu has faced multiple IT raids before and now, a team of IT sleuths have begun raids at the properties linked to him. The searches began at around 6.30 am on Friday - November 3 in Tiruvannamalai and at other locations. 

According to our sources, most of the searches are being carried out in various locations of Tiruvannamalai. Along with the minister's residence in Kilnachipattu village, the IT sleuths have also been conducting searches at Arunai Medical and Engineering colleges that run by the minister and his family. Nearly 200 Income Tax officials are carrying out the raids at 60 locations across the state. 

Besides Tiruvannamalai, the searches are being conducted at some locations linked to EV Velu in Chennai, Karur, and Coimbatore. In Coimbatore, the residence of a woman DMK leader, who is a relative of EV Velu, is also being searched. It has been reported that the searches are underway in connection to alleged tax evasion committed by the minister using his educational institutions, sand quarries, and construction business. 

The IT officials were escorted by CRPF personnel and after learning about the raids at the properties linked to EV Velu, several DMK cadres and the supporters of Velu had gathered before his residence and they raised slogans against the IT department and the central-ruling BJP regime. The DMK has condemned the raids with party's spokesperson Saravanan terming the IT raids as the response by the BJP regime as it fears the growing strength of the opposition INDIA coalition. 

The IT raids against EV Velu have come two days after Tamil Nadu Chief Minister and DMK chief MK Stalin lambasted the BJP regime for intimidating the opposition parties through raids. On Wednesday, he accused the BJP government of intimidating the opposition parties by allegedly misusing the central agencies to initiate raids. 

Notably, the IT raids against EV Velu have come a day after another central agency, the Enforcement Directorate (ED) had brought a Delhi Minister under its scanner. ED had also issued summon to Delhi Chief Minister and Aam Aadmi Party chief Arvind Kejriwal, who has become a staunch critic of Modi regime, to appear for an investigation into the liquor policy scam. Kejriwal had skipped the summon and termed it 'illegal'. 

In what has become back-to-back troubles for DMK, the ED has already taken senior DMK leader Senthil Balaji into its custody and weeks after IT department raided the properties linked to DMK MP Jagathrakshakan, the IT sleuths have now targeted senior Tamil Nadu Minister EV Velu, who had already faced IT raids back in 2021. It has been alleged that the central agencies like IT and ED would target more DMK leaders ahead of the 2024 Lok Sabha polls.