The Income Tax search operation held at the premises of an associate of Tamil Nadu Health Minister C Vijayabaskar has revealed routing of Rs 89 crore for "distribution to voters" in RK Nagar assembly constituency which goes to by-poll on April 12. IT raid team on Saturday sent a report to the chairman of the Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT) detailing the searches carried out on Friday. Highly informed sources revealed The CBDT will submit a report to the Election Commission of India.
According to one of the documents released to the media, ₹89.65 crore was routed through Chief Minister Edappadi K. Palaniswami and five of his senior Cabinet colleagues — K.A. Sengottaiyan, Dindigul C. Srinivasan, P. Thangamani, S.P. Velumani and D. Jayakumar and Rajya Sabha MP R. Vaithilingam, covering 85% of the electorate in R.K. Nagar. Party deputy general secretary T.T.V. Dhinakaran is contesting from the constituency. Other documents revealed the supply chain below from these party in-charges for the by-election. The calculations indicate that each vote was priced at an average of ₹4,000.
According to IT sources, documents seized during searches at the premises of an accountant of the Minister showed details of Rs 89 crore and the money being channelled to RK Nagar through party functionaries. One of the leaked document was related to payments received and paid by S. Geethalakshmi, Vice- Chancellor of Tamil Nadu Dr. MGR Medical University, during November 2016. With regard to the VC of Dr MGR Medical University, Dr. Geethalakshmi, the taxmen said that several incriminating documents where Money has been given and taken for transfers, postings and few tenders. have been found and preliminary analysis show that the money is unaccounted for.
IT officials also claimed that Mr. Vijayabaskar was a silent partner in sand baron Sekhar Reddy’s firm SRS Mining. “He has not shown those details in his accounts and we are verifying that. ” an officer said.
The amount was channelled through many party functionaries for distribution to voters, the sources told PTI. "We even found the names of some party men who are also Ministers," an IT 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.
Meanwhile, searches that began yesterday has ended in most of the total 50 locations. Tasks like recording of statements however continues, IT department officials has said.
When asked how the documents were leaked, IT officials said that they had to face a volatile crowd at some places during the raids and some of the assembled persons were trying to grab the seized documents and run way.“We immediately took photos in our cell phones and maybe someone leaked it,” an officer said. The taxmen also said that at R.K.Nagar residents were not allowing IT officials to question or talk, instead they got aggressive and asked what was their problem if people took cash for votes.
Noting the details in raid leaked documents Tamilnadu Opposition leader M.K. Stalin said Chief Minister Edappadi K. Palaniswami should step down from his post owning responsibility for the money distribution and irregularities committed by his cabinet colleagues.Demanding the removal of all Ministers involved in money distribution in R.K.Nagar by-poll, he said the CBI should file cases against Health Minister C. Vijya Basakar, whose house was raided by IT officials.
Stalin added " all Ministers involved in irregularities should be barred from contesting elections in the future as the media had already released evidence collected during IT raids"
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