Chennai: When the officials from the Income Tax department raided the residence of Tamil superstar-turned-politician Vijayakanth, they had no idea of the backlash that would follow.
The actor’s fans, furious at their icon being made a “target of the state government”, pelted stones and burnt effigies of Tamil Nadu Chief Minister M Karunanidhi.
Vijayakanth - the only MLA from his party the DMDK - is also the only politician in the state who has kept himself away from both the ruling DMK and the Opposition AIADMK.
His party says these raids are clear case of political vendetta by the DMK, which they say wants to silence Vijayakanth during the ongoing Assembly session.
“This is the ulterior motive of the political parties who are not able to counter the popularity of Mr Vijayakanth. But all this is being watched by the public of Tamil Nadu, who will know that it’s nothing but political vendetta,” said DMDK leader, Panrotti Ramachandran.
IT raids were also conducted on AIADMK MLA and a former MGR loyalist O Pannerselvam's residence. He is also the owner of several engineering colleges.
In the past too, income tax raids were conducted on several AIADMK leaders.
Raids have been a common feature in Tamil Nadu politics, no matter which party is in power. The only difference perhaps is whether it's the I-T department or the state police.
While Jayalalithaa's party now says this is political vendetta by the DMK, when she was in power it was not the I-T but the CID that had raided several DMK leaders.
The latest victim of the political raid culture seems to be the politically single Vijayakanth.