IT raids on Jaya TV office, other Sasikala family businesses


New Delhi: The offices of Jaya TV, Dr Namadhu MGR newspaper were among a number of locations connected to the Sasikala faction of the AIADMK that were raided by officials of the Income Tax Department in the early hours of the Thursday. I-T officials said the raids were in connection to allegations of tax evasion.

The list of locations that were raided reads like a family directory of jailed AIADMK leader VK Sasikala. Those raided were her nephew and AIADMK challenger TTV Dhinakaran and nephew and Jaya TV MD Vivek Jayaraman in Chennai. In Mannargudi and Thanjavur, raids focused on the residences of Sasikala’s husband M Natarajan, Divaharan and Sundaravadanam; apart from a number of their associates.

Ground reports quoted officials saying the raids are based on concrete information of tax evasion and that they had been observing the situation for a significant amount of time.

The raids began around 6 am, and according to officials, taking place at more than 180 different locations.

Jaya TV and Dr Namadhu MGR have for decades functioned as the mouthpieces for the AIADMK and its now deceased supremo J Jayalalithaa. Since her death, they have been used as a tool in the factional war for the control of the AIADMK.

The faction led by TTV Dhinakaran has controlled the channels and the newspaper. These and the movie theatre business Jazz Cinemas are all controlled by the Sasikala clan. While initially part of the Sasikala faction, the vast chunk for the AIADMK rank and file, led by Tamil Nadu Chief Minister Edappadi K Palaniswami, has since split with the Sasikala family and joined hands with the former rebels, led by O Panneerselvam.

Now, the EPS-OPS faction and the TTV Dhinakaran faction are locked in a battle to claim the iconic ‘two-leaves’ symbol of the AIADMK. The matter is pending before the Election Commission.

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