IT raids likely to weaken ‘Mannargudi mafia’
The IT raids on establishments and properties owned by jailed AIADMK leader VK Sasikala is likely to weaken her faction in the party. This will help the EPS-OPS group to consolidate their hold in the party and further isolate and alienate the ‘Mannargudi mafia’editorials Updated: Nov 09, 2017 16:29 IST
On Thursday the Income Tax department cracked down on business establishments owned and associated with jailed AIADMK leader VK Sasikala — and how!
IT officials swooped down on the Jaya TV office, Namadhu MGR, Jazz Cinemas and other establishments. In all, simultaneous raids have been underway in more than 150 locations in Tamil Nadu, Karnataka, Telangana and Delhi. TTV Dinakaran, AIADMK leader and Sasikala’s nephew, in a press conference termed the raids “political motivated” and said that the raids would not weaken his faction of the AIADMK.
The timing and the extent of the raids are what make this an important political development in Tamil Nadu.
The IT department, reports suggest, has explained that the raids are to unearth unaccounted money routed through shell companies. However, such raids on establishments and properties owned by Sasikala, who was a close aide of former CM Jayalalithaa, were unheard of in the past. Sasikala’s proximity to power, it would seem now, gave her a sense of invincibility. That shield has gone.
These raids will also impact the political situation in the state. The ruling AIADMK, since Jayalalithaa’s demise on December 5, has been in turmoil. The OPS-EPS faction opposes the Sasikala-Dinakaran faction. While the former runs the government it is believed that the latter has substantial influence among local leaders and cadre. Thursday’s raids are likely to weaken the Sasikala camp. This will help the EPS-OPS group to consolidate their hold in the party and further isolate and alienate the ‘Mannargudi mafia’.