MK Stalin-led Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam’s (DMK) senior leaders submitted a 97-page document to governor Banwarilal Purohit on Tuesday with a list of corruption charges against chief minister Edapaddi Palaniswami, his deputy O Paneerselvam and six other ministers of the All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (AIADMK) government.
Stalin levelled allegations of corruption, abuse of public office, obstruction of justice and other criminal offences against Palaniswami, Panneerselvam and accused senior ministers of amassing wealth disproportionate to their income. There were also charges against local administration minister SP Velumani, health minister C Vijayabhaskar, electricity minister P Thangamani, fisheries minister D Jayakumar, revenue minister RB Udhayakumar and food minister R Kamaraj.
“We have provided this evidence to the Directorate of Vigilance and Anti-Corruption (DVAC). We have filed several cases but no action has been taken,” Stalin told reporters after meeting Purohit. “The governor has the power of the Anti-Corruption Act of 2018. It is on that basis that we have lodged the complaint.” Stalin has requested the governor to direct the DVAC to inquire and register cases under Section 17A of the Prevention of Corruption Act, 2018.
The DMK’s document, titled ‘Large Scale Corruption’ by chief minister and the council of ministers of AIADMK government (2016-2020), states that Palaniswami indulged in corruption in awarding highway road tenders to his relatives.
Reacting to Stalin’s petition, chief minister Palaniswami told reporters in Thoothukudi that there was no room for corruption as tenders were issued online. He was flanked by revenue minister RB Udhayakumar and food minister R Kamaraj who responded to the specific allegations. “It is DMK which is indulging in corruption and their cases are pending in court,” Palaniswami said, showing documents. “All this will come out soon. DMK is spreading false news and seeking attention.”