Income tax (I-T) officials conducted raids on properties belonging to family members of jailed and sidelined All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (AIADMK) leader V K Sasikala across Tamil Nadu and three other states on Thursday.
More than 1,800 officials inspected 187 locations in Tamil Nadu, Puducherry, Karnataka and Delhi.
Income Tax department raided the Chennai office of Jaya TV and 186 other locations early on Thursday morning over allegations of tax evasion.
Jaya TV is controlled by Sasikala’s family and is considered to be politically disposed in favour of deposed leaders Sasikala and T T V Dinakaran. “It’s not about TV alone, but shell companies,” an I-T official said.
C Rajashekharan, the lawyer representing Jaya TV, alleged political vendetta as the main reason behind the I-T raids. “I don’t want to cast aspersions. The I-T department has all the right to conduct raids. But why conduct raids on one particular faction of the AIADMK? The raids should be conducted in an unbiased manner,” he said.
TTV Dhinakaran, the sidelined AIADMK leader, blamed the Centre for the raids. “I did say that demonetisation is a failure. That is the truth. I supported it at first but now everyone knows it was a failure. If you raid me for saying that, I will repeat that. Don’t try to scare me,” he said.
“Centre is trying to finish us from politics. It is clear that Centre is behind this raid,” he added.