Hours after the Election Commission and the Income Tax department officials raided her residence in Tuticorin, DMK candidate from the constituency, Kanimozhi Karunanidhi, said that Prime Minister Narendra Modi was using the EC to threaten her party.
“These incidents only confirm that Modi is using the Election Commission to threaten us,” said the DMK leader. “We will not be cowed down by these incidents and will emerge victorious.” Kanimozhi added, “The ruling party is afraid of our victory. They are carrying out these raids to tarnish the image of the DMK.”
At 8:30 PM on Tuesday, a team of 10 IT and EC officials paid Kanimozhi a visit at her home in Tuticorin. “They asked my permission to conduct searches at my house, and I questioned them on whether they had the requisite warrant to conduct these searches, but they did not have a proper answer,” said Kanimozhi, speaking to journalists outside her home, after the raids. She added, “Despite that, we fully cooperated with the agency. I feel these searches are being conducted because I am an opposition candidate.”
Kanimozhi confirmed to reporters that no cash or documents were recovered by the EC.
While there has been no official word from the Election Commission yet, sources told CNBC-TV18 that the raids were conducted on a tip-off that Kanimozhi was using the first floor of her residence to stash large sums of money that could be used to bribe voters. The source also added that nothing incriminating was recovered from Kanimozhi’s residence.
Incidentally, the raids came merely an hour after the EC had successfully recommended that the President of India Ram Nath Kovind cancel Lok Sabha elections in the Vellore Parliamentary Constituency in Tamil Nadu. The president accepted to request after the EC alleged that DMK candidate in Vellore, D M Kathir Anand, had stashed Rs 11 crore in a cement warehouse, in the constituency.
Even as IT officials raided Kanimozhi’s residence, DMK workers in Tuticorin assembled outside the house and raised slogans against the Modi government until officials departed from the residence at 10.40pm.
First Published: IST