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Chennai, December 15: The ruling DMK in Tamil Nadu suffered a big jolt on Wednesday as CBI teams probing the spectrum scam raided 27 places associated with people and organisations closely identified with former Union communication minister A. Raja and the party’s Rajya Sabha member Kanimozhi, who is the daughter of chief minister M. Karunanidhi.

With the CBI teams from New Delhi literally knocking at the doors of chief minister Karunanidhi by raiding the office of an art-culture NGO called Tamil Maiyam run by Father Jegath Gaspar Raj, in which Kanimozhi is an active trustee, there is hot speculation in Chennai about the future of the Congress-DMK alliance for the state elections due in May/June next year.

There has already been some strain in the alliance with some leading state Congress leaders demanding that the DMK share power in Tamil Nadu just as it enjoyed accommodation in the Manmohan government at the Centre.

Informed sources said the CBI teams also raided the office of Mr Ratnam, the auditor of Kanimozhi’s mother Rajathiammal, whose phone conversation with corporate lobbyist Niira Radia have been publicised and indicated some financial transactions.

The CBI also raided Mr Raja’s residence at his native Velur village in his Perambalur Lok Sabha constituency, besides the premises of his auditor Subramayam in Chennai the residences of Raja’s brothers at Chennai and Tiruchirappalli and some other close associates of the beleaguered Dalit ex-minister.

His sister’s house at Tiruchirappalli was also raided, sources said.

Two scribes came under the CBI net when Kamaraj, associate editor of Tamil magazine Nakkeran was taken for questioning after CBI officials raided his house in the morning. The senior journalist is known to be close to DMK circles.

At Tiruchirappalli, CBI officials raided the residence of a private TV channel reporter G L Narasimhan, considered a close associate of Raja.

The raids came a week after the agency had carried out searches at the residences of Raja and his relatives and aides at Chennai, Tiruchirappalli and Perambalur.

His key aide and a real estate promoter, Sadiq Basha had been questioned by the CBI.

Some bank accounts of the raided people and outfits in Chennai have been frozen, sources said.

They said the Enforcement Directorate and the Income Tax department too are involved in scrutiny, which Mr Raja had on Friday night dismissed as being ‘routine’.

The raid on Tamil Maiyam has particularly come as a big shock for the DMK leadership as Ms Kanimozhi is closely associated with the socio-cultural NGO promoted by her close friend Fr Gaspar Raj. She has been the public face of Maiyam by organizing annual cultural programmes across Chennai, in which rural performers could showcase their talents alongside the celebrated musicians and dancers.

The NGO has also been holding the Chennai Marathon every year to raise funds for taking care of under privileged children. Fr Gaspar Raj is also known to be pro-LTTE.



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July 2024