In the mega raids last week at 187 locations, including the Jaya TV headquarters, properties of Sasikala's family and associates, officials claim to have found evidence of unaccounted income of Rs 1,430 crore.
However, Sasikala's nephew and deputy general secretary of AIADMK, TTV Dinakaran blamed the Centre for the raids. He said, "Whoever is in charge of the Income Tax department is behind this. It's politically motivated. It is strongly condemnable."
Recently, the Tamil Nadu Speaker disqualified 18 lawmakers supporting Sasikala who could potentially bring down Edappadi K Palaniswami's government. They had withdrawn support to the Chief Minister, accusing him of corruption and favouritism.
While the court would decide the legality, politically, these raids are seen as the BJP's attempt to save the EPS government by turning the heat on the Sasikala camp. The national party, however, denies this.
Union Minister of state for Finance, Pon Radhakrishnan said, "Authority has been given to various departments. They do not have to get the Finance Minister's or my permission. They undertake these operations based on their information and evidence. The money has been plundered from all over Tamil Nadu and the government is trying to find out."
Chief Minister Edappadi K Palaniswami, who the Sasikala camp alleges of having conspired with the BJP for the raids, clarified, "Income Tax raids at Jayalalithaa's place took place because of wrongdoings by some. The state government has nothing to do with it."