Vellore: Income tax sleuths conducted searches at the residence of senior DMK leader Durai Murugan in Vellore's Katpadi over suspected use of unaccounted money for electioneering.

This comes days after tax raids led to a political storm in neighbouring Karnataka.

The tax officials along with personnel from the election flying squad arrived late last night at the residence of the DMK treasurer and conducted searches early on Saturday morning.

The officials were attempting a search of the premises when Durai Murugan and those present along with him informed the search team that they would not be allowed inside.

Highly placed sources in the investigation wing of the Income Tax Department said that the raids were carried out. They indicated that the searches were carried out to detect suspected tax evasion vis-a-vis use of unaccounted money for electioneering.

The DMK leaders claimed that the search team did not have jurisdictional authority in the area.

In a video, Paranthaman, joint secretary of DMK’s legal wing was seen arguing with the IT official saying that the raid was illegal.

Paranthanam argued that the officials had carried out searches under Article 131 of the IT Act which is applicable to conduct searches for cash movements and not to search premises.

A new search warrant was issued for the Vellore jurisdiction, and a new team arrived at the Katpadi home of the DMK leaders and conducted a search of the premises at 3 am. Two more officials reportedly joined the search team at 5:45 am.

The Election Commission has been conducting checks on cash distribution across the state as the Model Code of Conduct is in place across the country.

IT raids were conducted in Karnataka too. Houses and establishments of politicians from the JD(S) and people close to HD Kumaraswamy were raided this week. The chief minister sat on a dharna condemning the move, calling it vindictive action.