Income tax department on Thursday conducted raids at premises of Jaya TV in Chennai along with nine other firms at several places in Tamil Nadu and across India. The channel has been critical of the ruling AIADMK govt since fallout between VK Sasikala and Tamil Nadu chief minister E Palaniswami. Other locations on IT department’s radar included residences of Sasikala’s niece Krishna Priya, her brother Dhivakaran, TTV Dhinakaran’s uncle Dr Venkatesh and relatives of Mr Dhinakaran, Saradha Paper Boards Pvt Ltd among others. Here is a five-point guide to the story.
1. Jaya TV was started by former Tamil Nadu chief minister J Jayalalithaa and used to be the mouthpiece of All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (AIADMK). The channel is currently owned by Sasikala’s family and has been critical of present govt for past few months after a fallout between the jailed leader VK Sasikala and Tamil Nadu CM E Palaniswamy. For the uninitiated, VK Sasikala was ousted from the party after two factions of AIADMK (EPS faction and OPS faction) merged together
2. Officials from Income Tax department entered the premises of Jaya TV on Thursday morning. According to taxmen, Jaya TV group has a huge amount of unexplained cash and has floated many shell companies.
3. The united AIADMK has been trying to regain control of Jaya TV from Sasikala’s family. A resolution in this regard was recently passed by the party. The management of the channel had termed the decision as an assault on independent media.
4. Since the death of former Tamil Nadu chief minister Jayalalithaa, the political situation in the state has been on a boil amidst infighting between the ruling party. Tamil Nadu chief minister E Palaniswamy had joined hands with O Panneerselvam and removed Sasikala as AIADMK secretary. Saisikala is currently lodged in a Bengaluru jail on charges of corruption.
5. Sasikala’s nephew TTV Dhinakaran has called the IT raids as ‘political vendetta’. “The Centre is targeting Sasikala and my family. I am not scared of Income Tax raids,” Dhinakaran told the reporters following the raids.