Cash for MLAs: DMK Approaches High Court for CBI Probe 

Chennai: The ruling AIADMK has now found itself in the middle of a fresh controversy after a television channel aired last evening tapes of two MLAs admitting that huge cash and gold were offered to vote in favour of Chief Minister Edappadi. K. Palaniswami during the confidence motion in the Assembly in February this year.

The main opposition DMK today approached the Madras High Court seeking a CBI probe into the revelations, and said it would raise the issue in the Assembly tomorrow in a big way.

DMK Senior Advocate Shanmugasundaram today appeared in front of the first Bench of Chief Justice Indira Banerjee and M. Sundar and demanded a CBI probe.

He was directed to file a petition regarding the case and the Bench said it will hear it on Friday.

Meanwhile, former Chief Minister O. Panneerselvam, who heads the rebel faction AIADMK Puratchi Thalaivi Amma, today told the media that he had asked an explanation from Saravanan, one of the two legislators, who was found in the video tapes. “He has given a clear objective on the matter. We have asked for an explanation from him.”

Yesterday, a couple of TV channels revealed that there was money power influenced to MLAs during the trust vote.

Two MLAs, Sarvanan and G. Kanagaraj, said money was paid to sway votes.

The money was promised and paid in the resort where the MLAs were made to stay by the AIADMK General Secretary V. K. Sasikala camp, they said.

However, both Saravanan and Kanagaraj have now refuted the allegations.

It is to be noted that Saravanan was the same MLA who made a ‘dramatic escape’ from the Golden Bay resort in Kuvathur where the legislators were lodged.

Sarvanan had alleged then that he was being held captive. The video shows that the MLAs revealing that not only cash but gold, too, was offered, and that the rate per MLA rose dramatically in the course of a bus ride.

Saravanan reportedly said: “The party did not commit anything directly… but we all got information. There was information that they are going to give Rs 2 crore for each MLA… So when we got into the bus it was Rs 2 crore; when we reached airport to meet governor it was Rs 4 crore, and then, when we reached Koovathur, it was Rs 6 crore…We kept hearing this, and the next day they said there is no availability of cash and we have decided to give you in gold.”