CHENNAI: Strengthening rumours that the latest Income Tax (I-T) raids in Tamil Nadu was linked to the upcoming bypoll to RK Nagar Assembly constituency, health minister C Vijaya Basker and actor-politician Sarathkumar alleged that the I-T personnel in-charge of the raids inquired them how much money changed hands to enlist support for the party ahead of polling.
“I-T personnel asked me how much money I gave to Sarathkumar. Why should I give money to him, and why should he receive money from me,” asked health minister C Vijaya Basker, whose home and stone quarry in his native Pudukkottai, official residence in Chennai, and other premises came under the scanner in a massive operation that began on Friday morning.
Sarathkumar, the founder-leader of All India Samathuva Makkal Katchi, had on Thursday declared his support for the official faction of the ruling AIADMK.
“They are threatening me because party’s deputy general secretary TTV Dhinakaran will win with a margin of over 50,000 votes at RK Nagar. They won’t be able to achieve success by threatening me,” Vijaya Basker added.
Charging the I-T personnel of harassing him, the minister added that the raids came based on a move by the rebel faction headed by former chief minister O Panneerselvam, who he alleged was backed by the Centre-ruling BJP.
“I cooperated with the personnel -- opened all rooms, cupboards, vehicles and even the bathroom. They searched thoroughly, but could not find even Rs 10,000 with me… I was scheduled to receive an award for TN government from President Pranab Mukherjee. But I could not make it to Delhi.”
Speaking later to the media, Sarathkumar said: “I think it is an attempt to prevent me from going to campaign for RK Nagar bypoll this evening.”