CHENNAI: Opposition leader M. K. Stalin on Friday demanded immediate sacking of health minister C. Vijayabhaskar and DGP T. K. Rajendran after the income tax department's disclosure before the Madras high court that they "accepted bribes" in the gutka scam.
Speaking to reporters after staging a walkout from the Tamil Nadu Assembly following Speaker P. Dhanapal's ruling against their demand to raise the issue in the House, Stalin said the I-T department's affidavit before the court has clearly indicted Vijayabhaskar and Rajendran.
"The I-T department has filed an affidavit before the Madras high court in the case filed by the DMK seeking a CBI probe into gutka scam. The affidavit states that the allegation that health minister C. Vijayabhaskar received a bribe of Rs 58 lakh was indeed true. We are not saying this…it is the income tax department that has told the court," Stalin said.
The Opposition leader also noted that the I-T department has also told the high court that they have seized a letter written by their officials to the then DGP Ashok Kumar was recovered from J. Jayalalithaa's Poes Garden residence.
"Since the I-T department has openly told the court the truth, T. K. Rajendran, who is now the DGP, should be removed from his post. Likewise, health minister C. Vijayabhaskar should resign on his own or the Chief Minister should sack him," Stalin said.
The DMK staged a walkout after Dhanapal disallowed them from raising the issue citing "sub-judice." The Opposition party has been demanding sacking of Vijayabhaskar and Rajendran ever since the gutka scam came into light in 2017.
The alleged scam came to light after raids were conducted on godown, offices and residences of a pan masala and gutka manufacturer in Tamil Nadu during which a diary was recovered. I-T officials say that the diary contains names of those who have been paid off by them as quid pro quo for facilitating the sale of banned gutka, despite a ban.