The raids that were conducted on the residences of former ADMK Minister SP Velumani, ADMK's mouthpiece 'Namadhu Amma', and several close associates of the former minister have come to an end. Tamil Nadu's Directorate of Vigilance and Anti-Corruption (DVAC) had launched searches in Velumani's residences and at several places across Tamil Nadu at 7.05 am on Tuesday and the searches that lasted nearly for 12 hours have come to an end with shocking revelations that had utterly shaken Velumai's citadel in the state and in the party.
Moments ahead of ending the searches and making an official announcement, DVAC's Director-General of Police Kandasamy IPS had met Chief Minister MK Stalin in the Chief Secretariat. It has been reported that Kandasamy could have briefed the Chief Minister over the raids and the documents that were seized in connection to the case. The raids had out shown that Velumani's arms had stretched across various corridors and indulged in irregularities. Velumani had served as the Tamil Nadu Minister for Municipal Administration during the previous ADMK regime and he had emerged as a power-centric in the party.
The DVAC authorities had conducted searches in 60 places across Tamil Nadu, mainly in Chennai and Coimbatore and the raids were related to the corruption allegations and irregularities that were committed by him. The residences of some of the corporation officials had also come under the scanner. Amid conducting the raids, the DVAC had filed an FIR against Velumani and 17 others in connection to the irregularities and graft case. The searches are being conducted at the residences of Velumani's close associates and contractors who had taken projects worth several crores of rupees in Chennai and Coimbatore Corporations.
The FIR had named Velumani as Accused No 1 and it has shockingly revealed Velumani's empire. According to the FIR, the Greater Chennai Corporation and the Coimbatore Corporation had allotted tenders worth Rs 811 crore to companies closely associated with Velumani, when he was the minister of the Municipal Administration, from 2014 to 2018. The FIR further says that the tenders worth Rs 464.02 crore of the Greater Chennai Corporation were given to the companies run by the close associates of Velumani while these companies won the tenders worth Rs 346.81 crore in the Coimbatore Corporation. The DVAC had highlighted that while accepting these tenders, the tender authorities had deliberately defied the Tamil Nadu Transparency Act, TN Transparency in Tender Rules, Guidelines of Central Vigilance Commission, and engineering manual of Tamil Nadu.
The DVAC had noted that these violations have happened under the direct watch and influence of SP Velumani. The FIR says that there was an overwhelming collision of companies in winning the tenders and these companies had submitted online bids using the same Standard Internet Protocol on the same date, which has revealed that these bids were submitted from the same computer. The FIR further said that these companies had quoted abnormally low prices for some components in the tenders. The DVAC has said that there were vivid links between SP Velumani's family and KCP Engineers, which won several tenders of Chennai and Coimbatore Corporations.
The authorities had also found that the companies close to Velumani had attained a growth at a skyrocketing pace while he was serving as the minister in the ADMK government. Apart from conducting searches in the places close to him, the DVAC sleuths had stormed into the office of ADMK's mouthpiece 'Namadhu Amma' newspaper in Chennai. Namadhu Amma is an official print daily of the party managed by current leaders Edappadi Palaniswami and O Pannerselvam. The daily is being published by Chandrasekar, who is close to Velumani. It has been reported that the daily paper is also controlled by the senior leaders and is functioning in a property that belongs to Velumani. The office is in Alwarpet, Chennai and Velumani has held financial transactions through the mouthpiece.
Based on the inputs, the authorities had raided Namadhu Amma office, which immensely shocked the ADMK leadership amid ongoing troubles. According to reports, the DVAC authorities have seized important documents that are evidence of corruption in the 12-hour long search and as the FIR has been filed against the former minister, the DVAC will now be summoning him for investigation based on the documents retrieved and on the skyrocketing growth of his close associates. DVAC DGP Kandasamy's meet with Chief Minister MK Stalin had drawn significance as the DMK government has been initiating actions against the former ADMK Ministers who indulged in corruption and irregularities.