Tamil Nadu is heating up, politically, after recent IT raids on persons perceived to be close to Chief Minister Edapaddi Palaniswami. An immediate consequence of this, as political analysts believe, was the support of the Modi government during the no-confidence vote that it won extremely comfortably.
The Narendra Modi government's majority was never in doubt, but it allegedly arm-twisted the AIADMK government into supporting it on the floor of the house to shore up its numbers in a bid to strengthen the perception of its invincibility at a time when the opposition was showing signs of ganging up.
While the speculation about IT raids and politics behind the move were a hot topic of speculation among the people of Tamil Nadu, the raids itself on road and highway contractors, alleged to be close to the Chief Minister, gave a handle to the opposition DMK. The opposition party has stepped up the ante, seeking immediate action against the Chief Minister and a probe against him under the Prevention of Corruption Act.
DMK working president MK Stalin on Monday took his battle to state governor Banwarilal Purohit and submitted a memorandum seeking action against the CM for alleged favouritism in awarding highway road contracts in the state. "We will approach the courts if no action is taken," Stalin told media persons after calling on the governor.
Stalin referred to the recent searches by IT on the premises belonging to SPK Group of companies. These companies are promoted by Nagarajan Seyyadurai, from where Rs 180 in cash and 105kg of gold were recovered.
Stalin maintained that Seyyadurai was a partner in Venkatachalapathy and Co run by P Subramaniam. It is here that the case gets interesting as Subramaniam is the father-in-law of Mithun, son of the Chief Minister. Subramaniam, Seyyadurai and Sekar Reddy (who is also under IT scanner) are partners in Balaji Tollways Pvt Ltd, which won contracts for highway projects.
Stalin said that Palaniswami held the portfolio of Highways and Minor Ports Department.
Allegations are that government road building contracts worth Rs 3,120 crore were awarded to
Vekatachalapathy and Co, Sri Balaji Tollways, SPK and Co which are controlled by Seyyadurai, Subramaniam (father-in-law of Mithun, son of Palaniswami) and Reddy.
Stalin told media persons that the governor had assured him the memorandum would be sent to the Central government.