Embattled AIADMK leader TTV Dhinakaran struck a defiant note on Thursday, saying the raids conducted on his properties by the Income Tax department will not deter him, and he will continue opposing the BJP-led Centre's attempts to interfere in Tamil Nadu politics. He also blamed the E Palaniswamy and O Panneerselvam-led leadership of the AIADMK for the raids, calling them a result of "political vendetta".
Speaking to the media outside his residence in Chennai, Dhinakaran said the raids are part of the Centre's tactics to get him and VK Sasikala out of the AIADMK party. "It's been orchestrated by the Centre, and EPS and OPS are both behind this. But I will not bow down. What can they do? Will they send me to jail for 25 years? I have been to jail before. Will they hang me for this? The AIADMK is not just me alone, we also have two crore members who will continue the struggle against EPS and OPS," he said. "No matter what they do and what agency they use, I will not be cowed down by this."
People are watching everything, they understand what is going on. If the Centre thinks they can destroy us by conducting such raids, they are day-dreaming: TTV Dhinakaran pic.twitter.com/oALm1R4PBq
— ANI (@ANI) November 9, 2017
His comments came after the Income Tax department raided the premises of Jaya TV and its associates over suspected tax evasion as part of the I-T department's 'Operation Clean Money' to weed out black money. Allegations against Jaya TV also covers aspects like dubious investments by shell companies, fund flow and fudging of accounts, income tax sources in Chennai told PTI.
CNN-News18 said that friends and family members of Sasikala and Dhinakaran are being raided across four states in 187 locations. Six properties of Divaharan, another relative of Sasikala were also being raided.
Dhinakaran said it was "suspicious" that the raids took place just a day after he spoke out against demonetisation. "They asked us to stop the broadcast of the news bulletin where I spoke out against demonetisation. But what wrong did I say? Those who raid the channel don't have the right to tell us what we can and cannot broadcast. And why are they raiding only us? Do EPS and OPS have no benami properties?" he asked.
He also denied allegations that Jaya TV was the AIADMK's party mouthpiece. "EPS and OPS are in government today. Those who looted the state are in power today. But when Jaya TV was launched, where were EPS and OPS? It was 'Amma' and 'Chinnamma' who have been running this," he said.
The party's Sasikala-Dhinakaran faction also said they will cooperate with the authorities, and hoped that things wouldn't get personal. "We are cooperating with the authorities. My simple question is why target the family?" asked Prasanna, a spokesperson of the Sasikala-Dhinakaran faction of AIADMK.
With inputs from agencies
Updated Date: Nov 09, 2017 12:16 PM