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  • Published 16.03.02
Chennai, March 16 :    Chennai, March 16:  It is payback time again in Tamil Nadu. Barely two weeks after ADMK leader Jayalalithaa returned as chief minister, the Directorate of Vigilance and Anti-Corruption launched search operations at the residence of several former DMK ministers. Former transport minister K. Ponmudi was the first to face the brunt with two of his houses (in Chennai and Villupuram) raided in two days. Other ministers of the earlier DMK regime to come under the scanner for allegedly possessing "assets disproportionate to income" included Andhiyur Selvaraj, Samayanallur Selvaraj, Suresh Rajan and N.K.K. Periyasamy. Jayalalithaa had warned yesterday that legal action would be taken against Ponmudi for alleged irregularities committed in the State Bus Transport Corporation when he was transport minister. The Assembly witnessed two days of acrimonious exchanges on this issue. However, no one had expected that Jayalalithaa would act so soon. At Nagercoil, bank lockers of former tourism minister Suresh Rajan were examined today. The vigilance directorate did not spare even former Madurai mayor Kulandaivelu. The directorate has registered cases against all the ministers whose houses have been raided. The crackdown came just two days after the chief minister ordered the winding up of two of the three courts set up by Karunanidhi to try corruption cases. The decision to close down the courts came in the wake of the "extremely difficult financial position" that the state is in. The government also deemed it "unnecessary to continue with all the three courts with just seven of the 46 cases filed by the previous DMK regime against ADMK ministers pending".