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RK Nagar bypoll: Centre says no political angle, I-T raids on minister on basis of information, proof

The IT department on Friday had seized Rs 5.5 crore in cash after searches on the premises of Health Minister C Vijayabaskar and others even as it is sending a report to the Election Commission in view of the April 12 R K Nagar bypoll.

India TV Politics Desk, Chennai [ Updated: April 09, 2017 9:07 IST ]
Minister Vijaya Baskar argues with police during I-T raid
Minister Vijaya Baskar argues with police during I-T raid at his residencePhoto:PTI

The nationwide raids by Income Tax and Enforcement Directorate from April 1 as part of the crack down on black money were done only on the basis of specific information and proof, the government said on Saturday. 

"The raids by Income Tax and Enforcement officials at various places in India were conducted only on the basis of specific information and proof," Minister of State for civil aviation Jayanth Sinha said. 

He was responding to a question on the charge by AIADMK (Amma) faction that the Income tax searches at the premises of Health Minster C Vijayabaskar, was aimed at "intimidating" them and it was taken at the behest of BJP, which was"directing" the rival O Panneerselvam faction. 

The IT department on Friday had seized Rs 5.5 crore in cash after searches on the premises of Health Minister C Vijayabaskar and others even as it is sending a report to the Election Commission in view of the April 12 R K Nagar bypoll.

The bypoll was necessitated following the demise of J Jayalalithaa. 

The I-T sleuths had raided 50 locations in Tamil Nadu and seized Rs 5.5 crore from three of Vijayabaskar's "associates" and "incriminating" documents which also have references to the bypoll.

I-T searches reveal Rs 89 cr channeled: Each RK Nagar vote worth Rs 4,000

The searches at the premises of an associate of the minister had revealed routing of Rs 89 crore for "distribution to voters" in the constituency BJP state unit chief Tamilisai Soundararajan had claimed that the raids were backed by proof and had ruled out any 

political angle to it. 

According to sources, documents seized during searches at the premises of an accountant of the Minister showed details of Rs 89 crore and the money being channeled to RK Nagar through party functionaries. 

The amount was channeled through many party functionaries for distribution to voters, the sources told PTI. 

"We even found the names of some partymen who are also Ministers," an official said, adding, copies of voters list with entries like which voter should be paid what was recovered during searches at the MLA hostel premises. 

As per the documents leaked to the media, the Sasikala-led AIADMK faction had given over Rs 89.5 crore to seven ministers for distribution among R.K.Nagar voters and they were given a target to distribute cash to 85 per cent of the voters, numbering 2,24,145. According to that estimate, the price of one vote in the by-poll bound RK Nagar constituency is nearly Rs 4,000.

Meanwhile, searches that began yesterday has ended in most of the total 50 locations. 

Tasks like recording of statements however continues, they said.

CEO to share with EC info on I-T raid on TN minister's house 

The Chief Electoral Officer of Tamil Nadu will share details of the income tax searches with the Election Commission in New Delhi. 

Sources in the Commission here said no details have been sought from the CEO of Tamil Nadu. But since he is filing regular reports on the R K Nagar assembly bypoll as per laid down norms, the I-T raids will figure in the reports too. 

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