Housing Minister Udumalai K Radhakrishnan, Food Minister R Kamaraj and TN’s Delhi rep Thalavai Sundaram allegedly barge into Health Minister Vijaya Basker’s residence to obstruct I-T officials; Basker claims his daughter not allowed to go to school; search at Egmore lodge reveals money distribution list
CHENNAI: The unprecedented raids by the Income Tax (I-T) Department on Friday sparked tension in the State with ministers, leaders and cadre of the official faction alleging it was a political plot.
Housing Minister Udumalai K Radhakrishnan, Food Minister R Kamaraj and Tamil Nadu’s representative in Delhi Thalavai Sundaram allegedly abused a female I-T official who was conducting searches, and obstructed investigation by barging inside into Health Minister C Vijaya Basker’s Greenways Road house, despite being stopped by the CRPF personnel and I-T officials.
However, after top I-T officials intervened, the searches continued at the health minister’s residence.
Adding further drama, minister Basker told reporters that his daughter was not allowed to go to school. When Express contacted the income tax officials, they maintained that he was allowed to send his daughter to school on the condition that her school bag will be checked. “Initially he said his daughter won’t go to school today. But now he is putting the blame on us by having his daughter stand in the hot sun and posing before the media,” charged an I-T official.
“The situation was so tense that we urged the city police commissioner to impose Section 144 to clear the roads near the premises where the searches were being carried out. They did not impose Section 144C, but only cordoned off the area. We have now requisitioned for addition central forces. We will have additional CRPF as well as CISF personnel to provide cover for conducting the searches,” the official said.
Searches were also carried out at the minister’s room at the MLA Hostel and a lodge in Egmore. “We came across the money distribution list from the lodge in Egmore,” the official added.
Initially, the raids that began around 6 am were conducted at 34 locations, 23 in the city and 11 places elsewhere in the State. It has now spread to 50 to 55 locations, according to the income tax official, who added that they were yet to conclude the process.