Former ADMK Minister comes under scanner: Why TN's Anti Corruption squad is raiding his properties?

Former ADMK Minister MR Vijayabaskar has come under the scanner of the state's anti-corruption agency on Thursday after the sleuths of the agency had stormed into his properties and conducted raids. MR Vijayabaskar is one of the senior ADMK leaders who had served as the Tamil Nadu Minister of Transport during the Edappadi Palaniswami's regime in the state. He also had contested in the recently-held assembly polls from Karur and he eventually had lost the race to his rival DMK's Senthil Balaji. 

According to reports, the Directorate of Vigilance and Anti-Corruption (DVAC) has on Thursday conducted searches at the properties that belong to MR Vijayabaskar and the searches had begun at around 7 am on Thursday and were conducted at 21 places located in Chennai and the leader's home district of Karur. MR Vijayabaskar's residence in Sai Kripa Apartments in RA Puram, Chennai is also brought under the raid operation.  

Why the sleuths stormed into properties of the former ADMK minister?

It has been reported that the raids are conducted in connection with the allegations of corruption in the transport department while MR Vijayabaskar was the minister. He was appointed the Transport Minister in 2016 by then Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa and during his stint as the minister, he piled up his political growth in Karur and Chennai and he also had served as the ADMK's district secretary of Karur.

His attempt to triumph over his rival in the 2021 polls met with the debacle. The raid in the ADMK leader's properties by state anti-corruption agency has become the first such raid since MK Stalin-led DMK government came to power in the state. The searchers were to the sequel of allegations levelled by the then opposition party DMK against the Edappadi Palaniswami's regime. It has been reported that several former ADMK ministers will face similar searches and charges following MR Vijayabaskar. 

In 2018, then Tamil Nadu Opposition party DMK, under the leadership of MK Stalin, had accused the ADMK regime of corruption and demanded action against the ADMK leaders including Chief Minister Edappadi Palaniswami, Deputy Chief Minister O Panneerselvam, SP Velumani, C Vijayabaskar, and MR Vijayabaskar. In its letter to DVAC in June 2018, the DMK has alleged corruption in the allocation of five contracts for highway projects to companies that belong to the close relatives of Edappadi Palaniswami. 

The DMK had then moved its petition to the Madras High Court by citing that the DVAC, which was then under the ADMK, had not registered cases against the ADMK Ministers. The DMK has been staunchly slamming the ADMK regime over corruption and as an opposition leader, MK Stalin has met Governor Banwarilal Purohit and submitted the allegations of corruption against the ministers two times. Stalin had demanded the head of the state to initiate actions against the ministers who were indulging in corruption. 

The DMK party had also promised that it will take action against the ADMK Ministers after it came to power and three months after coming to power, the MK Stalin-led government has begun its drive of probing into the corruption against the ADMK ministers. In its first move since coming to power, the state-run DVAC has raided the properties of former ADMK Minister MR Vijayabaskar in connection with the corruption allegations in the Transport Department while he was serving as the Transport Minister. 

The reports say that the DVAC has also brought the former ADMK ministers and people close to them under its scanner. It has also been reported that the searches are conducted in Vijayabaskar's residence in connection to the allegations that he had amassed more wealth beyond his income, during his ministerial tenure. The sleuths have also conducted searches in the vehicles that belong to the former ADMK Minister and the DVAC has registered a case against Vijayabaskar under the charges of disproportionate assets.