ED raids Tamil Nadu minister Ponmudi’s residences in Chennai and Viluppuram

The 72-year-old minister is a Villupuram district MLA for the Tirukkoyilur Assembly seat.
In connection with a money laundering investigation, the Enforcement Directorate conducted raids at the homes of DMK leader and Tamil Nadu Higher Education Minister K Ponmudy and his MP son Gautham Sigamani on Monday, according to official sources. The father-son team’s offices in the state capital Chennai and in Villupuram are being raided, they claimed, while the ruling DMK referred to the operation as a “political vendetta.”

The 72-year-old minister serves as an MLA for the Villupuram district’s Tirukkoyilur Assembly seat, and his 49-year-old son Sigamani is a member of parliament for the Kallakurichi seat. The money laundering case is connected to alleged irregularities that occurred between 2007 and 2011 when Ponmudy served as the state’s mining minister. There were claims of quarry license conditions being broken, which resulted in a loss to the exchequer of about 28 crore.

The minister is accused of obtaining mining and quarrying permits for his son and other members of his family, and the permittees are alleged to have extracted more red sand than was allowed. According to the High Court, there are reasons to believe that the petitioner committed the crime, so the trial cannot be halted. On the day that DMK Chief Minister and President M K Stalin was scheduled to attend the Congress-led Opposition meeting in Bengaluru, the ruling party in Tamil Nadu claimed that Stalin has been instrumental in the state’s fight against the BJP and that the ED action is intended to “intimidate” it. The DMK’s resolve is being tested by this political vendetta, according to party spokesperson A Saravanan, speaking to PTI.