T T V Dhinakaran, the nephew of deceased Tamil Nadu's former chief minister J Jayalalithaa, accused the Palaniswami-led AIADMK government of betraying her by calling for raids at her residence. Income Tax officials began their search operations on Friday night, as they reached Veda Nilayam- the residence of Jayalalithaa.
The Dhinakaran faction of AIADMK also levelled charges against the Centre, accusing the BJP-led ruling government of political vendetta.
During its raid on Friday, I-T officials reportedly searched the room where Jayalalithaa's confidante V K Sasiakala stayed while the former was alive. The room of the former CM's personal assistant, Poongundran, was also searched.
The recent raid on Jayalalithaa's premises has resulted in protests from an AIADMK faction with party members protesting in front of the house during the search operations.
Dhinakaran, who leads the Sasikala faction, in AIADMK raised several objections to the raid on Saturday. Speaking to the reporters in Tuticorin, he attacked Narendra Modi by saying that the Prime Minister did not visit Jayalalithaa when she was hospitalised, despite claiming to be her friend. He, nevertheless, found out time to visit Karunanidhi, said Dhinakaran.
The PM had recently called upon the Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (DMK) supremo M Karunanidhi while he was unwell. The visit subsequently triggered rumours about the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) rethinking its political strategy in Tamil Nadu. DMK's working president, M K Salin, has, however, said that the party will never make an alliance with BJP.
"Today, the residence of Amma itself, the room of Sasikala, was searched and the officials are saying that they are seeking a warrant to search Amma's room. As I have said earlier, do not think that one party can grow by destroying another party," said Dhinakaran.
The allegations come after a massive search of 187 premises related to the Sasikala family, relatives and some of the companies were conducted by the IT department last week.
The faction is expected to evoke the sentiments of supporters of the deal political icon and to expand its political base in the state, said an analyst.
S Gurumurthy, a leader of the Swadeshi Jagran Manch that supports BJP, wrote on Twitter: "Raid in Jaya's home. That was the tax haven for Mannargudi Mafia to keep their electronic evidence of loot. They thought no one would enter the Jaya Fort whose keys were with Sasikala. The High Court permitted the I-T dept to raid. Congrats I-T dept (sic)."M Thambidurai, Lok Sabha Deputy Speaker and a leader of the EPS-OPS faction, commented that Jayalalithaa’s residence is a temple and any attempt to disgrace it will not be tolerated. OPS supporter and Rajya Sabha MP V Maitreyan also condemned the act. Fisheries Minister Jayakumar put the blame for the raid on Sasikala, saying that she and her family were responsible for it.