From taking selfie to fighting for rose milk: It's ADMK's style of protesting against raids on SP Velumani!

Former ADMK Minister SP Velumani is on the brink of getting arrested but, the ADMK cadres are in full swing of celebrations as they are having a feast under the guise of protesting against the raids that unfolded by Tamil Nadu's Directorate of Vigilance and Anti-Corruption (DVAC) at the properties of Velumani in connection to the graft case and irregularities committed during his ministerial tenure. 

SP Velumani had served as the Minister for Municipal Administration during the previous ADMK regime and he is one of the bigheads of ADMK, close to former Chief Minister and current Opposition leader Edappadi Palaniswami. The raids at his properties have come weeks after a similar scale of searches conducted by DVAC at the residence of former ADMK Minister MR Vijayabaskar. 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. 

While the sleuths of DVAC had stormed into the residences of Velumani on Tuesday in Chennai and Coimbatore and conducted searches at around 60 places including the properties that belong to Velumani's close associates, the ADMK cadres had found a prospect of displaying their allegiance to him and to unveil what has become a weird fashion of protests. After knowing that the raids are being conducted at the former minister's residence, hundreds of thousands of ADMK cadres had arrived at Chennai and Coimbatore. 

They had held placards with the slogans condemning DMK's political vendetta of conducting raids at the residences of SP Velumani. Moments after the protests, the scenes had begun to change as under the guise of protesting, the ADMK cadres had seemingly changed the ground as a get-together party while there were some incidents of ransacking the barricades and breaching the security cordon that was formed in the places where the raids were taking place. The visuals from the spots had shown how the cadres had deviated the tone of what should have been a strong voice from the ADMK against the raids. 

Some of the members of ADMK's women's wing were seen taking selfies while Velumani was getting drilled by the DVAC authorities over the irregularities. The breakfast and lunch were provided to the protesters gathered before Velumani's residences in Chennai and Coimbatore and the visuals of a mass feast have been going viral on social media and while the ADMK leadership was troubled with the raids, the ADMK cadres who were gathered before Velumani's residence in Coimbatore were seen surrounded a van that brought packs of rose milk. The cadres were then seen fighting and rubbing each other's shoulders to get the packs of rose milk as they were thrown from the van. 

On the other hand, some of the women had squabbled with the police officers against the raids. The DVAC authorities are conducting searches for eleven hours at 60 places across Tamil Nadu as the reports suggested that Velumani's citadel is been getting collapsed and he is getting close to facing an arrest, which may be warranted as the sequel of the shocking revelations from the raids. The DVAC had filed an FIR in which Velumani was named as Accused No 1. 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 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 and it also has been 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. A gold and diamond jewellery showroom close to Velumani had recorded a revenue of Rs 100 crore within one year of its establishment. The revenue of KCP Engineers was at Rs 42 crore in 2012 and the same stood at Rs 453 crore in 2018 and the growth of CR Constructions, which was at Rs 38 lakh in 2012, had grown to Rs 43.56 crore in 2018.

The DVAC authorities had questioned SP Velumani at the MLA's Hostel in Chennai and the ADMK cadres had gathered at the spot and breached the security in a bid to enter into the premises. In its typical response, the ADMK leadership has claimed that these raids are anti-democratic and based on political vendetta. By urging the DMK government to concentrate on the people welfare works, the ADMK has said that it will face all the consequences legally.