The Central Bureau of Investigation on Thursday carried out searches at 19 places across Tamil Nadu, including the residence of Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam chief M Karunanidhi's son M K Stalin in Chennai, in a case of alleged tax evasion of imported cars.
The CBI team reached the house of Stalin in Chennai, who is alleged to be one of the beneficiaries of importing foreign cars, agency officials said.
The raids comes close on the heels of the DMK pulling out of the United Progressive Alliance coalition and its five ministers resigning.
An FIR was registered on Wednesday against a senior Intelligence Officer of Directorate of Revenue Murganandam and two others for allegedly abusing their official position by not taking any action when the import of foreign cars, including some limousines, was made.
According to the FIR, the officials have allegedly entered into a criminal conspiracy with unknown people and caused a loss of Rs 20 crore to the exchequer.
One of the imported cars is being used by Stalin's son, officials said, adding that after further investigations, names of beneficiaries would be included in the FIR.
The CBI said that the FIR was registered on the basis of a 'source information' as the agency had been probing the leads in the case for quite some time.
Raids are going on at other places including a business house, house of an owner of a medical college and others, the sources said.
Stalin claimed that the CBI action was a result of “political vendetta”.
"We will face the case legally. I am unaware of the reasons behind the CBI raid," he said.
Reacting to the CBI raids on Stalin's residence, DMK leader T R Baalu said, "The CBI is misusing its position".
When asked whether the Congress has disapproved of the raid, he said, "They (Congress) have to wait. They are playing with fire, that's all I can say."
DMK Member of Parliament T K S Elangovan said, "It is definitely revenge by the Congress. On Wednesday, we had withdrawn our support. Today, they are sending the CBI for a raid”.
"What else can be stated? The other opposition parties were saying that the CBI is only a Congress Bureau of Investigation, the Congress has today proved that," he told reporters in New Delhi.
On being asked whether the DMK will allow the budget to be passed, he said, "We will definitely raise the issue and stall Parliament. We will not support the government in the Budget."
"Today, our important issue is the raid and the United Nations Human Rights Commission vote. These things are more important and concerned with lakhs and lakhs of Tamils who are suffering in the hands of the Sri Lankan government. The raid is a clear case of vengeance and pressure tactics by the Congress government," he said.