Aavin ghee scam: TN Vigilance probes ex-minister's involvement


Chennai, Dec 30 : AIADMK leader and former minister Rajenthra Bhalaji, who is absconding after the Madras High Court rejected his anticipatory bail plea in the Rs 3 crore recruitment scam, is now being probed for his role in the sale of ghee at the milk cooperative Aavin. The Vigilance department of the milk cooperative has commenced investigation over the malpractices in the sale of ghee for making Tirupati 'laddu'. A two-day inquiry is being conducted at the milk cooperative over the purchase, sale, and recruitment in Aavin, Tamil Nadu's government-controlled milk cooperative. Tamil Nadu minister for Milk and Dairy development S.M. Naser in a statement on Wednesday said that his predecessor Bhalaji of the AIADMK had conducted several malpractices in Aavin and that the recruitment scam, held allegedly at the behest of the former minister, was only a tip of the iceberg. Naser said that the DMK government was not targeting former ministers as alleged by the AIADMK and added that the old deeds of the AIADMK leaders were backfiring on them. In another revelation, he said that when the Tamil Nadu Directorate of Vigilance and Anti Corruption (DVAC) conducted a series of searches and raids on the premises of former health minister and AIADMK leader, C.A. Vijayabaskar, several skeletons had fallen from the cupboard. He said that the former minister's diary had notings on the money received and distributed and the name of the former Chief Minister K. Palaniswami was also prominently mentioned in it. The DMK government assumed office in May 2021, raids were conducted by the DVAC at the residences of former ministers of the previous government. Residences and premises of five ministers were searched which included M.R. Vijayabhasakar, C. Vijayabaskar, S.P. Velumani, K.C. Veeramani, and P. Thangamani. The DMK government has also raked up the Kodanad murder and heist case in which a gang of burglars led by the former driver of late Chief Minister J. Jayalalithaa, Kanagaraj broke into the summer residence of the former CM at Kodanad on April 23, 2017, after her passing away and murdered a security guard, Om Bahadhur. However, police had charged that only a few wristwatches and an artifact of a rhino were stolen from the bungalow. Kanagaraj, wife, and daughter of another accused Sayan, an accountant of the estate bungalow died later in various incidents and the DMK had promised a detailed investigation once it assumed power. The AIADMK has alleged that the Stalin government's actions against its leaders were being done to target Palaniswami. The party raised the matter even during the last session of the Tamil Nadu Assembly. /IANS


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