"Party Has No Links To 'Drug Lord' Jaffer Sadiq": DMK Minister

The DMK has warned of legal action against those who attempt to link Jaffer Sadiq with either the party or its leaders.

'Party Has No Links To 'Drug Lord' Jaffer Sadiq': DMK Minister

Jaffer Sadiq held the post of Chennai West-NRI Wing Deputy Organiser in the DMK


Tamil Nadu Law Minister and DMK leader S Regupathy asserted his party has no links with Jaffer Sadiq, the prime accused in an international drug trafficking case being investigated by the Narcotics Control Bureau. The party warned of legal action against those who attempt to link Sadiq with either the party or its leaders.

The DMK did not receive a "single naya paisa" from Sadiq, the minister asserted.

Speaking to reporters, Mr Regupathy said the BJP regime has now deployed the Narcotics Control Bureau (NCB) to "besmirch" the DMK regime after "misusing" the Enforcement Directorate, the Income Tax Department, and the Central Bureau of Investigation for that purpose.

After the DMK assumed office in 2021, the state government has taken swift actions against drug peddling and this has been lauded by courts, he said. "Today, they (Centre) are thinking of intimidating the DMK through the NCB," he said.

Sadiq held the post of Chennai West-NRI Wing Deputy Organiser in the DMK until he was recently dismissed by the party after allegations of drug trafficking surfaced.

S Regupathy blamed NCB Deputy Director General Gyaneshwar Singh for holding a press conference about Sadiq's arrest even before the probe was completed based on "false calculations" to tarnish the DMK's image and "to let the BJP gain political mileage" before the Lok Sabha polls.

The people of Tamil Nadu are aware of all such things, the minister said, highlighting that during the previous AIADMK regime, a "minister" allegedly abetted the sale of banned gutkha.

While the central agencies did not act on the gutkha case despite evidence of kickbacks received by AIADMK leaders, they are now desperate to somehow back the BJP regime at the Centre, the minister alleged.

Though central authorities said on February 15 that a lookout notice was issued to apprehend Jaffer Sadiq, he took part in an event related to the release of the film 'Mangai' in Chennai on February 21, S Regupathy said, wondering what the NCB authorities were doing last month instead of arresting him.

Recalling a 2013 NCB case against Sadiq, the law minister blamed the then AIADMK government and the central agency for not properly handling it and ensuring the accused was convicted.

He claimed that it was a BJP advocate, the head of the party's Tamil Nadu legal wing, who represented Sadiq in the case. It was the AIADMK regime (2011-21) that saved Jaffer Sadiq, S Regupathy alleged.

Addressing the issue of Sadiq being given the party's membership despite his links to the 2013 case, the senior DMK leader said his party has over two crore members and it is not practically possible to check the antecedents of every single person who sought to be a member.

At the same time, he emphasised that whenever the wrongdoing of a member has been brought to the party's notice, immediate action has been taken. "People like Jaffer Sadiq have been expelled from the party," he asserted.

In 2013, Sadiq was acquitted in the case and he joined the DMK. Also, such a case against him was not in the public domain when he joined the party. When allegations related to drug trafficking surfaced he was expelled, S Reghupathy said.

"In one year, courts dispose of about 10 lakh cases. It is not possible to verify every single case to ascertain who was acquitted and who was convicted. It is the BJP and AIADMK who are responsible for Sadiq's acquittal in the 2013 (narcotics) case," he reiterated.

Asked if Sadiq's arrest is "political" or if the arrest made just before the polls is a "political activity", the minister said it was based on a "wrong calculation" made by the BJP regime to "malign" the DMK by arresting Sadiq just before the polls.

The wrong calculation has been defeated by the DMK as Sadiq was already expelled from the party even before his arrest. "The DMK has no links whatsoever with Jaffer Sadiq. Those who have links with Sadiq are in the AIADMK and the BJP," the minister alleged.

Since the general elections are around the corner, the BJP-led Centre is "daydreaming" of levelling false allegations against the DMK, he said. "People know pretty well that the DMK will never indulge in illegal activities and will never have any person who indulges in such activities," he claimed.

Pointing out that the drug seizure linked to Sadiq was made by the NCB in Delhi, the DMK leader sought to illustrate there were no related seizures in Tamil Nadu.

In Tamil Nadu, drug trafficking "does not happen at all" and the whole world is aware that the state is home to zero ganja cultivation, he claimed.

Hitting out at the NCB for claims about a case that is yet to be proven in court, the law minister said the press conference held by the senior official of the enforcement agency went against the law.

"Holding a press meet on a case in which investigation is yet to be completed is condemnable," he said.

On AIADMK chief and former Chief Minister Edappadi K Palaniswami visiting Governor RN Ravi over the issue, he mocked the Opposition party in the state and said, "Palaniswami can only tell the Governor that his party-led government failed to act in the 2013 case against Sadiq." However, the DMK has always prosecuted the culprits and ensured punishment for them, he added.

DMK Rajya Sabha MP and senior advocate P Wilson said that anyone attempting to link his party and its leaders to the NCB case against Sadiq would have to face civil and criminal prosecution.