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Rediff.com  » News » TN BJP chief releases video alleging scams, DMK threatens legal action

TN BJP chief releases video alleging scams, DMK threatens legal action

Source: PTI
Last updated on: April 14, 2023 20:16 IST
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Tamil Nadu Bharatiya Janata Party president K Annamalai on Friday alleged that "kickbacks of Rs 200 crore" had been channelled by a multinational company through two shell firms to "Chief Minister M K Stalin for the Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam’s 2011 election fund". 

IMAGE: TN BJP chief K Annamalai addresses the media in Chennai, April 14, 2023. Photograph: ANI on Twitter

He said he would lodge a complaint with the Central Bureau of Investigation, seeking a probe.

The ruling DMK dismissed the allegation as "laughable, baseless and unfounded" and said legal action would be initiated against Annamalai. Top DMK leader Duraimurugan dismissed the allegations as a mere political stunt.

Annamalai, referring to the DMK rule between 2006 and 2011, alleged that payments were received by the party as kickbacks from a company that won a bid related to the execution of Chennai Metro Rail Phase I project. 

 

The BJP leader told reporters at the state party headquarters in Chennai that the central government had notified a policy on May 5, 2010, stipulating norms for evaluation of bids submitted by foreign companies.

Days before the closure of bids for the project, an addendum was brought in and a "second firm" came up to the "first position", which won the bid, Annamalai alleged. The specific change made was withdrawn later.  

The TN BJP leader alleged that the company which won that bid paid "Rs 200 crore" to Stalin for "DMK's 2011 election fund" through two shell companies, one Singapore-based and another based in Hong Kong. Though the late M Karunanidhi was the chief minister at that time, the subject related to the Metro project came under Stalin's purview, he claimed. 

"I am going to lodge a complaint today to the CBI director to probe the receipt of Rs 200 crore bribe through two shell companies. This is a direct allegation against the chief minister by us," he said. The CBI had the authority to probe into it, he added.

In a note of warning, Annamalai said that the mobility provider Alstom had been sentenced to pay USD 772 million as criminal fine to resolve foreign bribery charges by the United States government.

A press release of the US department of justice dated November 13, 2015, said: "Alstom SA, a French power and transportation company, was sentenced today to pay a $772,290,000 fine to resolve criminal charges related to a widespread corruption scheme involving at least $75 million in secret bribes paid to government officials in countries around the world, including Indonesia, Saudi Arabia, Egypt, the Bahamas and Taiwan."

DMK organising secretary R S Bharathi told reporters that Annamalai would now have to spend more time in courts than touring for the BJP.

Bharathi said his party was not afraid of the CBI and it had faced and disproved allegations in its long history. "No single allegation against DMK could be proved even by AIADMK leaders M G Ramachandran and J Jayalalithaa. The DMK is an open book."

Releasing a nearly 15-minute video clip "DMK Files (Part-I)" showcasing what he claimed were assets of ruling party personalities and its valuation, Annamalai said three other parts of the 'expose' would also be released later which would include details about other political parties as well.

The video clip, which makes corruption allegations, is also perceived to make an oblique reference to the AIADMK vis-a-vis graft. Tamil Nadu's main opposition AIADMK is an ally of the BJP.

The video features DMK ministers, leaders and others related to ruling party leaders.

Bharathi said those featured in the video clip would take legal action against Annamalai individually, apart from the DMK itself moving court. He set a 15-day deadline for Annamalai to produce documentary evidence related to claims.

Responding to a taunt by Electricity Minister V Senthil Balaji, who months ago had asked Annamalai to answer how he had bought an expensive watch and demanded to see its purchase bill, Annamalai displayed the bill related to the purchase of a Bell and Ross limited edition Rafale watch for Rs 3 lakh from a person who was its first owner.

The BJP leader also announced a state-wide padayatra against corruption, "En mann, en makkal (My soil, my people)” and said it would commence in June.

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