Angry AIADMK cadre protest I-T raids

As Income Tax officials searched late Jayalalithaa’s ‘Veda Nilayam’ residence on Friday night, angry AIADMK cadre and supporters of sidelined AIADMK leader T.T.V. Dhinakaran landed the place and raised slogans against the BJP and the Income Tax department.

As news about I-T officials entering the residence spread, Vivek Jayaraman, son of J.Ilavarsi, and managing director of Jaya TV, who was raided earlier this week, reached Poes Garden.

With the raids continuing well past midnight, Mr. Dhinakaran slammed Chief Minister Edappadi K. Palaniswami and Deputy Chief Minister O. Panneerselvam. Accusing the two of being in cahoots with the BJP, Mr. Dhinakaran called them “betrayers.” “These were the people who said they will convert the house into a public memorial, and are now allowing this (raids) to happen,” he said. “The two will have to answer to the people of the State”.

“They (IT department) want to search Amma’s room as well. These things are unheard of. What will they find there,” Mr. Dhinakaran asked. He said Jayalalithaa’s house was like a temple to the 1.5 crore AIADMK cadre. “Her room is like the ‘garbagriha’ of the temple. How can anyone enter there,” he asked.

Mr. Dhinakaran said his faction and his supporters were confident of winning the case relating to the disqualification of 18 MLAs in the High Court.

“Once the verdict comes in our favour, this government will not last beyond Pongal. Amma’s rule will return to Tamil Nadu,” he said.

Lawyer refused entry

Meanwhile, Raja Sendhoorpandian, lawyer for Mr. Dhinakaran, arrived at Poes Garden and sought entry into the house, but was denied permission. “We have asked for permission. They can’t search the house without anyone inside. It is as per law we are asking to be allowed inside,” he said. After for more than an hour, Mr. Sendhoorpandian left.

AIADMK MP, V. Maitreyan told The Hindu that he was pained to see raids on Jayalalithaa’s residence. “Whatever might have been the reason, the raids on Poes Garden where Amma Lived gives immense pain. As far as I am concerned, Amma’s residence is a temple,” he said.

Police detained a number of party cadre who were raising slogans and bundled them in vans and cleared the area. They put up barricades and stopped more supporters from entering the road.

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