Sleuths from the Directorate of Vigilance and Anti-corruption is conducting searches at 28 properties belonging former AIADMK Minister and ex-MLA of Jolarpet, KC Veeramani.
The Department of Vigilance and Anti-Corruption (DVAC) on
Thursday held searches at over 20 premises and locations related to former
AIADMK Minister K C Veeramani, including at his native Jolarpettai in
Thirupatthur district in connection with a disproportionate assets case, police
Veeramani, who held the Commercial Taxes portfolio in the 2016-21 AIADMK government in Tamil Nadu, is the third former party minister to come under the DVAC net, the others being MR Vijayabhaskar (Transport) and SP Velumani (Municipal Administration). The opposition party dubbed the action against Veeramani as an attempt by the ruling DMK to "politically" target its rival but asserted it won't be cowed down by such 'raids.'
Earlier, Vigilance sleuths held searches at over 20 locations in Tirupattur and Chennai among others, police said. The charge against Veeramani is that he amassed disproportionate assets during the check period, i.e. 2016-21 to the extent of around Rs 28 crore. His assets value increased to Rs 30.61 crore from April 2016-March 2021.
Reacting to the searches, AIADMK senior leader D Jayakumar charged the ruling DMK with trying to politically target such former ministers and "malign the party before the eyes of the public."
"These are DMK's efforts to divert attention from its inability to implement its various (poll) promises. At a time when rural civic polls have been announced, such action is being initiated to prevent (Veeramani) from taking up poll-related works," he told reporters here.
Among the nine districts where the rural local body elections would be held next month are Vellore, Tirupattur and Ranipet, with the last two being carved out from the former.
"The AIADMK won't be cowed down by such raids," Jayakumar asserted, adding even party stalwarts and late Chief Ministers MG Ramachandran and J Jayalalithaa had to weather a lot of challenges. "We will prove our innocence in the court," Jayakumar, himself a former Minister, said.
This is the third case that the DVAC has taken up against former AIADMK ministers. Last month, sleuths from DVAC conducted searches at 60 premises in Chennai, Kancheepuram-Coimbatore on Tuesday in connection with a case of graft registered against former Local Administration Minister SP Velumani of the AIADMK. Houses of Velumani and his brother Anbarasan in Chennai and Coimbatore were also under DVAC scanner.
The DVAC had carried out raids at premises belonging to former AIADMK minister MR Vijayabhaskar in July after the agency registered a case against him, his wife and brother.