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TN: Rs 34 lakh in cash and nine luxury cars seized from premises linked to ex-AIADMK minister KC Veeramani

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Chennai, Sep 16: The Directorate of Vigilance and Anti-Corruption (DVAC) on Thursday held searches at 35 premises and locations related to former Tamil Nadu Minister K C Veeramani of the AIADMK, including at his native Jolarpettai in Thirupatthur district, in connection with a disproportionate assets case and seized among others, Rs 34 lakh in cash and nine luxury cars.

TN: Rs 34 lakh in cash and nine luxury cars seized from premises linked to ex-AIADMK minister KC Veeramani

Sleuths conducted searches at 35 places, including two in Karnataka capital Bengaluru and six here, a DVAC release said.

The opposition party hit out at the ruling DMK for its "vendetta" against the AIADMK and claimed the searches were aimed at preventing its workers in the respective districts from working in full vigour for next month''s civic polls.

Veeramani, who held the Commercial Taxes portfolio in the 2016-21 AIADMK government in the state, is the third former party minister to come under the DVAC net, the others being MR Vijayabaskar (Transport) and SP Velumani (Municipal Administration).

Searches were conducted at locations including his close associates "who are suspected to have been in possession of assets" on behalf of the former minister and business firms in which he is a partner, the agency said.

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The searches yielded Rs 34.01 lakh in cash, nine luxury cars including a Rolls Royce, 4.987 kg gold jewels, 47 gm of diamond jewels and property documents, it said.

"Materials and documents relevant to the case were seized and also 275 units (valued at Rs 30 lakh) of sand was found to be deposited in the residential premises," of Veeramani, the release said.

A case was earlier registered at the Vellore Vigilance and Anti-Corruption under provisions of Prevention of Corruption Act, 1988 into allegation of possession of assets disproportionate to his known sources of income, it added.

The charge against Veeramani is that he amassed disproportionate assets during the check period, i.e. 2016-21 to the extent of around Rs 28 crore, or over 600 per cent.

Reacting to the DVAC action against their party functionaries, AIADMK top leaders O Panneerselvam and K Palaniswami alleged that the DMK was resorting to such tactics with an eye on the coming local body polls.

Referring to the words of Dravidian stalwart and late Chief Minister CN Annadurai that "wild measures" are taken in a "fascist system," they said the ruling DMK was indulging in "burying democracy."

"Stalin''s police" had carried out the searches to conceal the "people''s angst" against the government for not able to fulfill its "unimplementable poll promises," they said in a statement.

All those who came under the Vigilance net on Thursday had worked against the DMK alliance in the April 6 polls and this is "nothing but a planned drama" ahead of next month''s rural local body polls, they said.

Among the nine districts where the rural local body elections would be held next month are Vellore, Thirupathur and Ranipet, with the last two being carved out from the former.

Veeramani is the Thirupathur AIADMK district secretary.

"People are looking at these searches as the first step in (the DMK''s) attempt at scuttling AIADMK workers'' preparations for the polls in the districts where it is apprehensive about its performance," they said.

The searches were a result of "vendetta," the two leaders alleged.

Rather than targeting the AIADMK leaders with vendetta, the ruling party should focus its resources on implementing its various promises, including doing away with NEET, Panneerselvam and Palaniswami said, adding the party would not be cowed down by such "intimidating tactics."

AIADMK senior leader D Jayakumar charged the ruling DMK with trying to politically target such former ministers and "malign the party before the eyes of the public."

"These are DMK''s efforts to divert attention from its inability to implement its various (poll) promises. At a time when rural civic polls have been announced, such action is being initiated to prevent (Veeramani) from taking up poll-related works," he told reporters here.

"The AIADMK won''t be cowed down by such raids," Jayakumar asserted, adding even party stalwarts and late Chief Ministers MG Ramachandran and J Jayalalithaa had to weather a lot of challenges.

"We will prove our innocence in the court," Jayakumar, himself a former Minister, said.

"Any efforts to intimidate and malign the AIADMK and its former ministers using police won''t fructify," he added.

Meanwhile, some journalists at Jolarpettai were allegedly roughed up by some AIADMK workers.

Local scribes staged a protest condemning the incident and demanded action against those involved.

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