Actor-politician Kamal Haasan on Wednesday said that he is starting to suspect that the Income Tax raids at SPK group linked to Tamil Nadu Chief Minister E Palaniswami are an eyewash.
While addressing the media at the Chennai airport, the Makkal Needhi Maiam chief put the onus on the central government to clear the air on the I-T raids.
Kamal Haasan questioned the action that has been taken post the Income Tax raids. He asked what had been done with the money and gold bullion seized in the raids so far.
“It’s everyone’s right to know what had happened during the raids. It’s also the duty of the department [RTI] to reveal facts to public,” Kamal Haasan said.
I-T raids at SPK group
Income Tax raids at SPK group offices in Tamil Nadu have raised alarm bells in the ruling corridor.
SPK Managing Director Nagarajan Seyyadurai is said to have close links with the bigwigs in AIADMK (All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam). The SPK group has won contracts of over Rs 2000 crore in the last few years.
India Today accessed crucial documents that establish a direct link between Chief Minister Edappadi K. Palaniswami’s relative and the raided SPK group.
As the documents point out, Nagarajan Seyadurai incorporated a new company called SPKANDCO Expressway Private Limited in March 2018. Company director Subramanium Palanisamy is the chief minister’s son’s father-in-law. Headquartered in Aruppukottai, the company is involved in laying roads.
Nagarajan Seyyadurai and CM Palaniswami jointly run Sri Balaji Tollways Madurai Private Limited, another prominent company that has bagged contracts from the Tamil Nadu state highways department.
The company was incorporated in February 2016 with Subramaniam Palanisamy as the director. Nagarajan joined the company as its director in September 2017. The company bagged the contract for the Madurai ring road in 2017. An additional grant was issued in March this year for completion of the project.
In June this year, DMK (Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam) had lodged a complaint with Directorate of Vigilance and Anti Corruption alleging corruption in allocation of five highway project contracts to various firms owned by relatives of the chief minister. Projects by SPK & Co. and Balaji Tollways have been mentioned in complaint filed with DMK.
CM Palaniswami has been holding the portfolio for highways since the last seven years.
EPS breaks silence
The I-T raids at a road contractor’s premises come as a huge embarrassment for the AIADMK government.
Palaniswami on Wednesday dismissed allegations of irregularities in awarding project tenders in the state highways department. The chief minister termed the I-T raids at SPK group as “routine”.
“The job of income tax department is to check if people have paid taxes proportionate to their income. If they find any deviation, the department conduct raids. This is routine procedure,” Palaniswami said.
The chief minister chose to overlook questions about the alleged link of his relatives to the firm from which the I-T department unearthed over Rs 170 crore unaccounted cash.
“Relatives are present in the entire Tamil Nadu, even in this case, they are contractors. If allegations like this are made, not even one person will be able to carry out their businesses.”
Palaniswami also slammed DMK for alleging corruption in the highways department and said the contracts for construction of highways and their maintenance were being awarded in accordance with rules and that there was no room for irregularities.
News credit : Indiatoday