Off the cuff: No relief from I-T raids 

 Reliable sources told TNIE that the brother of a popular personality who was under the I-T scanner flew off to New Delhi seeking an appointment with Union Home Minister.
Image used for representational purposes (File Photo)
Image used for representational purposes (File Photo)

*Conditions apply 
As the city regains normalcy after the pandemic, there has been a steady influx of people into Chennai in the last year, creating demand for rented houses. Taking advantage, this has resulted in house owners imposing unreasonable restrictions apart from hiking the rent. One house owner said he wouldn’t consider my mother, brother and me as a family and asked if my father was willing to relocate. Another asked us to pay rent at the beginning of each month in addition to six months’ advance. At least three of them asked for our caste and abruptly ended the call when we refused to disclose it. Lest I forget, many of the house owners preferred vegetarian tenants, which is a well-known caste code.

ILLUSTRATION : sourav roy
ILLUSTRATION : sourav roy

Wrong number
The day after the horrific Coromandel express crash, Ajithkumar, 39, (name changed) was on his way to Munnar with his family after deboarding in Kochi, when he received a call from the state emergency operation centre. The voice on the other end asked, “Are you safe?” Ajith thought it was standard procedure for Southern Railway to ask passengers if they were safe after the journey and was quite impressed. “Yes, thanks for asking,” he said, before hanging up. Soon after the control centre marked him ‘safe’, Ajith began receiving a barrage of calls from media persons. It was only then that both the media and Ajith realised his number might have been mixed up with passengers on board the Coromandel. “Was there a train accident? When? Is everyone safe?,” asked Ajith to a bunch of confused reporters.

The de facto mayor
Last year, Cuddalore Corporation elected Sundari Raja as its first woman mayor. However, there’s nothing more to it as the office is run by her husband KS Raja, who is DMK Cuddalore town secretary, and her two sons. Sources allege that the mayor is merely a rubber stamp and signs the files, while the actual decisions are made by the men in the family, even as the chief minister had warned against interference of family members in administration of local bodies. In the meantime, councilors are unable to approach or meet the mayor directly regarding their ward grievances.

Who’s the boss?
In the last fortnight, vice-chancellors of state universities attended two conferences - one hosted by the governor and another by higher education minister K Ponmudy. While Governor RN Ravi tutored them about proper implementation of National Education Policy, Ponmudy lectured them on sticking to State Education Policy, which is expected to be released in the next few months. In this ongoing tug of war between the governor and state, vice-chancellors are in a catch-22. Some are worried, few are confused and others are unable to understand how to deal with the situation. “I attended both the events, but to be honest, I don’t know what I am supposed to do,” said a V-C.

No relief
Recently, there was a series of Income Tax raids in the state during which premises belonging to various individuals and businesses came under scrutiny. Reliable sources told TNIE that the brother of a popular personality who was under the I-T scanner flew off to New Delhi seeking an appointment with Union Home Minister Amit Shah. However, he had to return disappointed as the union minister refused to give him an appointment.

(Contributed by Subashini Vijayakumar, Nirupama Viswanathan, Bagalavan Perier, Binita Jaiswal and S Guruvanmikanathan; Compiled by Affan Abdul Kadar)

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