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Tax raids on TN Minister, actor Sarath Kumar ahead of RK Nagar bypolls

Chennai: Income Tax sleuths today launched simultaneous searches at premises of Tamil Nadu Health Minister C Vijayabaskar and at least one MLA in connection with a tax evasion probe.

Reports also said that the raids were carried out in wake of complaints that he was involved in cash distribution to voters.

Officials said the searches were being conducted at over 30 locations in the state including against certain medical professionals, pharma firms and their executives.

Over 100 I-T sleuths along with security personnel are part of the operation, they said, adding premises related to officials of a medical university in the state are also being searched.

Searches have also been carried out against an MLA, officials said but did not give further details.

“The searches were being carried out in multiple locations, including Chennai and Pudukottai, following a tip-off about alleged tax evasion,” a source told PTI.

Officials said there were certain “inputs” that black money is allegedly being pumped in for the byelection to R K Nagar Assembly bypolls.

There were also several complaints of alleged money distribution by AIADMK’s Amma faction.

The bypolls is scheduled for April 12. The seat fell vacant after the death of?the then chief minister J Jayalalithaa and it is being viewed as a battle of prestige for the two factions of the AIADMK.

Vijayabaskar is a prominent loyalist of AIADMK (Amma) faction’s candidate TTV Dinakaran.

Vijayabaskar, who is the first state minister to come under the lens of tax men, is among the key campaigners in the bypoll.

Officials said certain leads in the Sekhar Reddy case, the mining baron arrested for alleged financial irregularities post demonetisation, have also prompted the latest action.

PTI