As a political controversy broke out over the Central Bureau of Investigation’s raid against Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam leader M K Stalin, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on Thursday distanced the government from it, saying it had "no role" in the development.
"We are all upset at these events. The government had no role in this and that I am sure of. We will find out the details. This should not have (happened). The timing of the raid is most unfortunate," Dr Singh told reporters.
The prime minister's remarks came even as the searches, carried out just two days after DMK pulled out of United Progressive Alliance, triggered a political controversy over its timing, with even top central ministers strongly disapproving of the action.
Congress ministers in UPA including P Chidambaram, Kapil Sibal and Kamal Nath strongly disapproved of the CBI searches and the Centre distanced itself from the action.
DMK, which pulled out of UPA on Tuesday and withdrew its ministers on Wednesday, said the action was a "political vendetta", amid reports that the agency concluded its searches after the uproar broke out.
Searches were carried out at 19 places across Tamil Nadu, including at Stalin's residence in Chennai, on Thursday morning in a case of alleged tax evasion of imported cars.
Stalin, 60, considered a political heir to 88-year-old Karunanidhi, dubbed the CBI raid as a 'political vendetta' and said he would face the case legally.
The Bharatiya Janata party said the CBI action is an example of "blatant" misuse of power by the UPA government for its survival and proves that it uses the probe agency to muffle allies who are walking out of the ruling coalition.
The issue was also raised in Parliament, with BJP leader M Venkaiah Naidu alleging that the government "controlled" CBI.