Documents seized during the raids suggested the Sasikala faction of the AIADMK was spending 89 crores to buy votes and convinced the Election Commission to cancel the elections. But Friday's FIR indicates there is no end to the AIADMK's troubles.
The opposition DMK is trying to keep the controversy alive and dent the credibility of the Palaniswami government. DMK Working President MK Stalin has already petitioned Governor Ch Vidyasagar Rao to demand sacking of the Chief Minister Edapadi Palaniswami and health minister Vijayabaskar.
But TTV Dhinakaran, who was deputed to lead the party by his aunt and party general secretary Sasikala before she went to jail, said there was no reason to sack the health minister. "He (Vijayabaskar) has said there is no mistake on his part... When there is no mistake on his part, how can he be removed (from the cabinet)?" Dhinakaran asked reporters.
Their political rivals, however, are among the least of the problems facing the AIADMK leaders being targeted by law enforcement agencies.
Friday's FIR named Housing Minister Udumalai K Radhakrishnan, Food Minister R Kamaraj, Information Minister Kadambur Raju and the Tamil Nadu government special representative in Delhi, Thalavai Sundaram. The police case was registered on a formal complaint from the tax department that alleged the four had thrown their weight around to prevent its officials from continuing with the searches at Vijayabaskar and actor-politician R Sarathkumar's residences. Sarathkumar's party, AISMK is an ally of the ruling AIADMK's Sasikala faction.
For Vijayabaskar, Sarathkumar and S Geetha Lakshmi, the vice chancellor of Dr MGR University, it may just be the beginning of their woes. The tax department has ordered the three, whose premises were searched in the run-up to the by-elections on specific intelligence inputs, to turn up at its office on Monday to answer more questions in connection with its tax evasion probe.
(With inputs from PTI)