The Income Tax department has reportedly seized cash worth about Rs 5.5 crore after it conducted searches on the premises of Tamil Nadu Health Minister C Vijayabaskar and others even as it is sending a report to the EC in view of the pending bypolls.
The action comes at a time when his party is facing a by-election in R K Nagar, the Assembly seat which fell vacant after the demise of former chief minister J Jayalalithaa, on April 12.
According to reports, premises belonging to the minister in Pudukkottai and Trichy were also being searched. Around 100 officials conducted searches in around 30 locations.
“I am innocent. I was fully co-operating with I-T officials. I showed all my documents and they were unable to find anything. They were threatening me. My child wanted to go to the school but they were not allowed. This is politically motivated. The I-T department is harassing me,” Vijayabaskar told the media.
TTV Dinakaran alleged the income tax officials are resorting to strong arm tactics to make Vijayabaskar confess that cash was distributed to voters in RK Nagar.
“We will not be cowed down. They cannot stop my victory. Even if the polls are countermanded it has to be anyway held after six months or so. We will then with a huge margin,” he said and added that BJP was behind the raids. AIADMK (Amma) senior leaders Thalaivai Sundaram and S R Balasubramanyam too made similar allegations.
However, the Bharatiya Janata Party on Friday distanced itself from the I-T raids. Speaking to reporters, BJP state unit president Tamilisai Soundararajan refuted charges by the AIADMK Amma group that the central government was behind the raids.
“There are no political motives. Income Tax officials are conducting raids based on the information and documents they have in their hands,” she said. Tamilisai further said the action was aimed at bringing out black money.