Income Tax raids on Tamil Nadu health minister Vijayabaskar’s premises ahead of RK Nagar Bye polls

Tamil Nadu health minister C Vijayabaskar
Tamil Nadu health minister C Vijayabaskar (File Photo)

Chennai, April 07: Ahead of the RK Nagar by poll, the income tax department conducted raids on 25 locations across of Tamil Nadu on Friday morning.

Income tax officials on Friday morning began searches on more than 25 premises belonging to Tamil Nadu health minister C Vijayabaskar and his relatives in Chennai and other districts in the state. Vijayabaskar is the first minister to come under Income Tax searches in recent times.

Properties belonging to the Tamil Nadu Vijayabhaskar in Pudukottai and Trichy were also searched.
“The minister and his relatives were on the radar of the IT department. In the last few days, we have received complaints that the health minister was directly involved in the distribution of cash to voters in R K Nagar where a byelection is scheduled to be held on April 12,” a senior Income Tax investigation wing official told media.

The raids come a day after the IT department began the crackdown on suspected illegal money hoarders after the deadline on Pradhan Mantri Garib Kalyan Yojana  (PMGKY) ended on March 31.

Four complaints have been filed against the health minister Vijayabhaskar since the byelection date was announced in R K Nagar.
On the IT raid in Chennai, 19 places were being searched. In districts like Trichy and Pudukottai, 13 places were being searched.

“The searches are being conducted in stone quarries, at colleges and on residential premises of the minister and his close relatives,” said the IT official.

Vijayabaskar has been in the limelight since the All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (AIADMK) split into two factions with former chief minister O Panneerselvam accusing him of siding with V K Sasikala and her family members and pressurizing him to quit.

On Post demonetisation, the IT department had raided properties belonging to Tamil Nadu former chief secretary P Rama Mohan Rao, after this, he was shunted out of the post. Raids were also being conducted on properties belonging to actor-turned-politician Sarath Kumar who extended his support to TTV Dinakaran on Thursday.